Monday, June 05, 2006

How to: buy and care for fresh flowers

These are a few simple rules to go by when buying fresh flowers. Follow them for more beautiful, longer lasting blooms.

flower markets are fun

1. Make sure that the vendor has them in at least a few inches of water (I've been to stores where they aren't in any, a big no-no!), away from direct sunlight, and in a refridgerated area or cool place.

2. Look out for droopy, wilted looking heads, petals that fall off easily and/or are bruised, torn or brown (the exception to this last part is roses, which have a layer of "guard petals" that protect the flower and can be peeled off.

3. Once you get your blooms home, snip off stems at a diagonal and put them in water immediately. The stem can seal up and prevent the flower from drinking if exposed to air for as little as 10 seconds. If you've bought hydrangea, first submerge the heads in water for a few minutes as they like to drink from there as well. I've seen this trick revive even the saddest looking hydrangeas! Also, when dealing with woody stems like, lilacs, branches, etc you want to snip up into the stem or smash the ends with a heavy object to allow them to drink. Just the customary snip won't do for these guys.

4. Once your flowers are arranged make sure to add fresh water daily and always keep the vase full. If you can flush out the entire vase even better.

5. Keep your arrangement away from direct sunlight, heaters and drafty areas.

These steps will keep your flowers fresh and beautiful for up to a week and a half. Heartier or tropical blooms will last even up to 2 weeks!


Blogger Laura-Marie said...

Are the little packets of white powder that sometimes come with the flowers a good idea? How about an asprin or bleach? I've heard both of those can make flowers last longer.

7:13 AM  
Blogger gentillefille said...

All that is fine. Bleach can help keep the water clear, but your best bet is still changing the water as often as possible.

12:04 PM  

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