Flower Care Tips

A bouquet of fresh flowers can brighten up any room, but before long, they start to wilt and die. Taking proper care of your flowers will help them last longer, but there's no need to buy fancy preservative. Follow these steps by George Thomas Florist to keep your flowers living longer.

Fresh Flower Care, Care for Orchids, Care for SucculentsWhat is wrong with the water in a vase when it turns yellow and cloudy?

This is a natural sign that bacteria are growing in the water. Bacteria can clog stems and shorten the vase life of flowers, so keep the water clear at all times to ensure the longevity of your blooms. If your water starts to turn cloudy, immediately empty the vase and add fresh water, preferably mixed with the floral food provided by your florist. Re-cut the stems with a sharp knife under warm water before placing them in the vase of fresh water.

How do you lengthen the life of your flower arrangement?

A little extra care can make a big difference for any size flower arrangement or fresh flower bouquet. Most floral arrangements last 4-7 days or longer, depending on the flowers used and the care they receive. The Society of American Florists provides 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. Flower foods make flowers last longer but it is important to follow the mixing directions on the flower food packet. Most packets are to be mixed with either a pint or a quart of water. Flower foods should not be diluted with more water than is specified on the packet.
  • If the flower food solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely with properly mixed flower food solution. If possible, re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife. Be sure to use a sharp knife or clippers that will not crush the stems. Immediately place the stems into solution.
  • 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, which causes flowers to dehydrate.) Most flowers will last longer under cool conditions.

For loose bunches or boxed flowers:

  • Keep your flowers in a cool place until you can get them in a flower food solution. Don't forget how important it is to follow the mixing directions on the flower food packet.
  • Fill a clean deep vase with water and add a flower food from your florist.
  • Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water will promote bacterial microbial growth that may limit water uptake by the flower.
  • Re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife. 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 them in warm water containing fresh flower food to promote flower opening.

How do you extend the life of your plant?

Not only are green and flowering plants a great enhancement to any home or office decor, they are also beneficial to your health. The results of a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) show that common houseplants are powerful, natural air cleaners - all the more reason why you want to keep your plants healthy with the proper care.

Most plants come with care instructions specified for the type of plant. The Society of American Florists provides these additional general guidelines to keep most green houseplants thriving:

  • Keep plants in medium-light locations - out of direct sunlight 
    Natural light is best, but some plants can also thrive in office fluorescent light. Most flowering potted plants should be placed in areas with the most light in order to maintain good flower color and promote the maximum number of flowers to open. Foliage plants will do well under lower light levels and can be placed in areas providing reduced light.
  • Plant soil should be kept moist at all times 
    Plants should not be allowed to dry out or wilt. Be careful to avoid overwatering - do not allow plants to stand in water. Avoid wetting plant leaves.
  • Avoid excessive heat or cold 
    Plants should be kept in a cool spot (between 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) for best performance. They should be kept 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, which causes plants to dehydrate.)

Is it possible to revive a wilted rose?

Sometimes. If a rose wilts prematurely, remove it from the arrangement and try the following easy tip to perk it up. Fill a sink with warm water. Lay the rose horizontally in the water bath and cut the stem (about 1") with a sharp knife under the warm water. Leave the rose in the bath for about two hours and let the water cool. This process can work wonders, but if the rose is already past its vase life it will not revive.