Displaying fresh-cut flowers is a lovely way to breathe life into your home. Floral displays are versatile and refreshing, giving you the option to change the look and feel of your interior decor with a quick swap. It’s believed that flowers also have mood-boosting properties — a friendly reminder to stop and smell the roses on your way to the kitchen.
The downside of keeping cut flowers at home is that they never last as long as you’d like. So here are some tips and tricks for keeping flowers in your home and getting the ideal lifespan out of each bouquet.
Trim Your Stems
The first thing you should do when you get a new bouquet of flowers is to trim the stems and put them in water as soon as possible. Have your vessel of water readily available so you can put each flower in as you trim. This quick action will prevent the stem from forming any air bubbles that could disrupt the flow of nutrients through the stem.
When cutting the stem, trim on an angle rather than cutting straight across. By doing so, you’ll increase nutrient absorption by increasing the surface area of the porous center stem.
Be Mindful of Pets
While there are many benefits of keeping flowers, there are a few downsides as well. One of the top concerns when displaying flowers is choosing something that won’t hurt your pets. Unfortunately, many houseplants and flowers are toxic to both pets and humans. Unless you plan on eating your bouquet, you should be fine. Pets, however, are known to be curious about plants. Furthermore, many plants that aren’t dangerous to us can be extremely toxic to animals.
Take some time to research which flowers are most harmful to pets, and avoid bringing them into your home. Flowers like roses, sunflowers, daisies, and orchids are safe. The lily family, and many others, are not. Do your due diligence and ensure any flowers you display are out of reach of your animal friends.
Monitor the Climate
There’s a common misconception that many flowers prefer tropical or warm climates. While that may be the case when they’re rooted in the ground, it changes once they’ve been cut. Cut flowers require a cooler climate to maintain their form; that’s why florists keep them in fridges.
While you may lack the capacity (or desire) to keep the room in a fridge-like state, it’s best to avoid warmer areas. Keep your bouquets away from sunny windows and places where temperatures fluctuate (like near the stove).
Change Out the Water
Changing the water in your vase or vessel will help extend the lifespan of your cut flowers. If the water is starting to get foggy, it’s time for a change. If you’re using an opaque vessel for your plants, plan to change the water every three days.
Over time, the plant matter and standing water will attract bacteria. While it’s a natural part of the decomposition process, you can defer that process to get a longer lifespan from your florals.
Use Plant Food
Adding plant food to your flowers will provide some of the nutrients they typically derive from the ground. These nutrients are absorbed through the trimmed end of the stem and keep the plant thriving long past its typical lifespan after being cut.
There are several brands of cut flower food to choose from; your florist can recommend something based on the type of flowers you have. Alternatively, you can make your own with a combination of water and sugar, then adding a splash of vinegar or bleach to keep bacteria at bay.
Finally, the more attentive you are to keeping your cut flowers looking fresh, the longer they’ll last. Trim dying leaves and petals from the flower, and pick up any that fall into the water. The debris from your plant contributes to bacteria levels in the water, which is why flowers seem to die quickly after the first few petals fall.
Choosing the Right Flowers
Now that you know how to keep your flowers looking fresh and lively, all that’s left is picking the right bouquet for your home. You can choose seasonal bouquets, try variations of your favorite florals, or let a florist decide for you with a subscription service. There’s no wrong choice when choosing a beautiful floral arrangement for your home.