A Florist’s Tips on Cut Flowers

As we all know, cut flowers are an ephemeral beauty, which is one of the reasons we treasure them so.  The length of time we get to enjoy them depends on a lot of different factors.  The type of flower, the environment where we display them, and the care we give them can greatly impact the life of flower arrangements.  

The floral designers here at Ross Plants and Flowers have some quick and easy advice to understand and extend the life of your fresh flowers.  Most of us make sure that our cut flowers have enough water, but with their tips, we can take that to the next level and ensure that we can enjoy our beautiful blooms as long as possible. 

Each flower has its own expected life span once it is cut.  Tulips are a cool weather flower and they don’t last very long once they open.  Sunflowers are a summer flower and can last up to 10 days in a vase with proper care.  Alstroemeria, chrysanthemums, and carnations are generally the longest lasting cut flowers.  With proper care they can last up to two weeks.  

Most of us add water to our vases, ensuring that our flowers have enough to drink, and we don’t realize that with just a few extra steps, we can add time to our enjoyment of these arrangements.  Rather than adding water, one of the best things to do to care for cut flowers is to completely change the water every other day. This can easily be done without disassembling your arrangement:  

  • Head over to the sink with your arrangement. 
  • Firmly, but gently, hold the stems where they enter the vase or container.  
  • Tip the vase, emptying the water as much as possible. 
  • Refill the vase with cool water from the sink or with a small watering can.  

Doing this, rather than just refilling the water, prevents bacteria growth that will shorten the life of your flowers.  You can add powdered flower food, but this is not as necessary as keeping the water very fresh.  To further discourage bacterial growth, make sure that the part of the stem that is underwater is clean and free of leaves when you add it to the vase or container.  

Another really important factor to the life of your blooms is where they are displayed. Make sure your arrangements are not displayed by a window, television, or other source of heat as that warmth can shorten the life of your flowers and encourage the growth of bacteria in the water.    

We hope these tips help bring you a few extra days of joy from your garden beauties and the blooms from our shops!