How to make your bouquet last longer

Nothing lights up a room quite like fresh flowers! Just like house plants, cut flowers and bouquets can uplift your space by adding oxygen to the room, freshening the air and offering a calming and pleasing aesthetic.

Studies have shown that fresh flowers are much more than a complement to your décor, as having them in your space can improve your concentration and memory. Flowers also contribute to overall wellbeing by boosting your mood and reducing stress – thus being one of the reasons why we send flowers as ‘get well soon’ gifts.

Received a lovely bouquet of flowers from a loved one, or maybe even picked up some flowers yourself? You may be tempted to just remove your bouquet wrapper and stick your stems in a vase, but this is perhaps the worst way to conserve your bouquet.

Follow these helpful tips to make your bouquet last, allowing them to beautify your space for a few extra days.

Prep your stems

When receiving a bouquet of mixed blooms, you may realise that they vary in weight as well as even length, depending on the arrangement. If deciding to put all your flowers in one vase, make sure the heavier flowers are cut closer to the rim of the vase to avoid drooping.

Next, cutting at an angle will improve water flow up the stems, so be sure to use garden shears or a heavy duty scissors to get a clean snip.

Finally, make sure any leaves left on the stem don’t get submerged in water, as this can lead to bacteria growth. Make sure you also check the leaves above the waterline, and pick off any you find to be withering.

Make your own plant food

Many florists might provide you with a plant food sachet that you would simply need to dissolve into your vase. However, for when you don’t get a sachet or need to replace the vase water, here are some ideas on how to keep your flowers fresh and nourished:

  • Soda water
    and not the diet kind, because your flowers will actually appreciate the sugar content that will help them stay fresh and smelling sweet.
  • A few drops of an antibacterial of choice
    To keep from your stems from turning slimy in the water solution, plant experts suggest killing bacteria in your vase by adding few drops of bleach or vinegar. A few drops of vodka can also be effective in impeding the production of the wilt-causing ethylene gas that flowers produce naturally.
    Just be sure to also have a little sugar in the water to act as flower food.
  • Plan B plant foods
    When above plant food ingredients are not available, certain substitutes – namely a few drops of apple cider vinegar + sugar, or crushing up an aspirin into your vase water – may not keep your bouquet as fresh for as long, but may still be better than just plain water.
  • BONUS TIP: if conserving a bouquet for display, for example a wedding bouquet, best to keep your bouquet in the fridge with stems slightly moistened to maintain prime freshness.

Give your flowers (the right) space

If receiving flowers that haven’t yet bloomed, give your bouquet some space both in and around the vase so that the petals have room to expand.

Also, most cut flowers prefer a cool space, so avoid displaying your vase within direct sunlight or near the warmth of appliances.

Regular water change and stem trimming

A daily water change (with replenished plant food) is definitely a good step towards keeping your bouquet fresh for longer. Needless to say, your bouquet will thrive better in a clean vase, so make sure to give it a good rinse before dipping the stems in.

Consider also re-trimming the stems every other day.

Want to send someone a bouquet to let them know you’re thinking about them? Check out the GemSpot app to see our list of florists (delivery can be scheduled ahead of time or for some florists, same day delivery)!

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