My Valentine gave me these gorgeous flowers! Now what?
You received some fantastic flowers from your Valentine! Yay! But now what? How are you supposed to care for them? How can you get the most out of your flowers? Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
1. You don't HAVE to do anything...
It's true. You don't. You can absolutely leave those flowers on the table or on your desk in the same vase they were delivered in and just enjoy them until they aren't enjoyable anymore. I'm a florist and I'll be honest, I've done this MANY times. Life is busy and if taking care of your gifted flowers is going to be a burden or a chore that makes them less enjoyable to receive in the future, then don't worry about them. I mean, sometimes keeping myself and my pets alive is enough work! Just enjoy them! See, don't you feel better now that I've let you off the hook? ;)
2. Water is life . . .
If you do decide to anything at all to prolong the life of your flowers, this is the most important to remember. Water is life. I once heard someone say, "Just keep them in a cool space, they don't really need water if they are kept cold". Wrong. Water is life. Let's say it again, WATER IS LIFE. If nothing else, cut that plastic Ralph’s wrapper off and put them in a clean glass or vase full of water.
If you received a hand bouquet be sure to strip off any foliage that may fall below the water line. Leaves will deteriorate and rot very quickly. Keep the water clean and clear. If the water looks cloudy, replace it. Be sure to check the water about every other day or two, being sure to top it off as the flowers hydrate and water evaporates. While checking the water, if you can without destroying the arrangement, pull the flowers out of the vase and clean the vase thoroughly and replace the water with fresh. At this point, since you already have your beauties out of the vase, you might as well grab a sharp knife or kitchen clippers and cut about an inch or two off of the bottom, getting rid of any part of the stem that may be looking discolored or be turning mushy. As you cut the stems, shorter take a peak to make sure ONLY stems are under the water line. Doing this every two or three days will make a big difference in how long your flowers last.
Another thing to remember in terms of water is that water is often lost in delivery. Every bump you hit or the delivery driver hits causes a little bit of water to splash out. For this reason, many florists dump some water out before sending them for delivery. So, I always suggest checking the water level the minute they arrive and topping them off.
But what if your flowers are in foam and not a vase? They still need water! Most professional florists will leave a small space between the edge of the container and the foam in at least one spot. Take your finger and feel around the rim of the container for that space and then pour the water directly into the dish. Pouring water over the arrangement itself just results in a big mess as the water rushes over the flowers, across the foam and floods the table. Just like the water in a vase of flowers evaporates and is consumed by the flowers, so is the water in the foam so keeping it moist is crucial. Once the foam dries out, guess what happens? Just like a sponge it starts to take moisture FROM the flowers- so that foam that should be maintaining the life of your flowers could actually be stripping it! So check that foam every couple of days.
3. Use flower food. . . but only the correct amount!
We've all seen the tiny packets of food that are taped to the outside of the gas station flowers. These food packets are great! Most actually contain nutrients as well as antibacterial agents. The problem is most people don't read the instructions. So if you dump all three packets into the tiny bud vase at once you could be over feeding (or more likely, damaging the flowers with too much antibacterial agent), and alternately, if you dump one packet into the gallon of water in your giant vase of three dozen roses, you probably are just wasting your time, and the tiny packet of food.
The product that I use is Floralife Crystal Clear Flower Food. Each packet is enough for one pint of water. This product dissolves completely, helps flowers last longer, open properly, and maintain their color. It works, when you use it correctly!
4. Location, Location, Location
Keeping your flowers in a space away from windows where they may be roasted in the sun all day is definitely going to keep them fresher longer. I'm not saying you have to keep them in the refrigerator, but keep them in a space that will make them comfortable.
Whether your flowers were ordered through me, through another professional florist, or picked up at Trader Joe's, remembering these small tips will help you enjoy them to their fullest!
And of course, if you have any other questions, tips, or comments be sure to post below!