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Flower Care Tips

Caring for your flowers -
Tips for making them last longer

Two  of the top questions Americans ask when purchasing flowers are  "How do I take care of them?" and "How long will they last?"  Whether it's a single bud, a small bunch or an abundant  arrangement, a little extra care can make a big difference.

Most floral arrangements last between 4-7 days, depending on the  types of flowers used and the type of care they receive. The  Society of American Florists suggests these tips for  longer-lasting, more vibrant flowers:

For floral arrangements:

Keep the vase filled or floral foam soaked with water containing  a flower food provided by your florist.

If the flower food solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely.  If possible, recut stems by removing one to two inches with a  sharp knife.

Keep flowers in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit), away  from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under  ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators. (Appliances  like televisions give off heat, causing flowers to dehydrate.)

For loose bunches or boxed flowers:

If you can't get your flowers in a flower food solution right  away, keep them in a cool place.

Fill a clean, deep vase with water and add the flower food  obtained from your florist. Be sure to follow the directions on  the package.

Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water  will promote bacterial growth.

Re-cut stems with a sharp knife. Do this underwater -- this  allows the stems to draw in water instead of air -- and place  the flowers in the vase solution you've prepared.

If you purchase loose flowers for your own arrangements you  should also consider these tips:

  • When selecting  flowers, look for flowers with upright, firm petals and buds  beginning to open. Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are  signs of age.

  • When using woody  stems and branches (such as quince, forsythia or lilac), cut  the stem with sharp pruning shears. Place in warm water  containing fresh flower food to promote flower opening.