Make your Valentine's flowers last!

February 14, 2008 8:12:09 PM PST
Everyone knows that Valentine's Day is a popular day for flowers. So how do you make them last as long as possible? Nick Smith was in Danville with Ria Sim, owner of the flower shop, Twigsstudio, to show us what we can do to keep our flowers fresh.

Ria Sim
Twigsstudio Danville
178 E Prospect Ave (2nd Floor)
Danville, CA
Phone: (925) 855-9816

Web site: www.twigss.com

Simple tips on how you can keep Valentine's Day flowers alive, from Ria Sim, owner of Twigs Studio in Danville.

This Valentine's Day most of the ladies will be receiving flowers that are:

  • Freshly cut and wrapped in cellophane
  • Pre-assembled in a vase filled with water
  • Pre-assembled in a vase with the use of a floral foam (oasis)
  • Freshly cut and wrapped in cellophane

How to make your flowers last:

  1. The most important thing to do after you've unwrapped the beautiful messages of love and romance is re-cut the stems while keeping the stem-ends under water. Most likely, the stems are dried out. Stems that are dried out, even for a short while, will kill the cells at the stem end, preventing the flower from drawing water and shortening bloom life. Cutting on a diagonal (45 degree) increases the surface area from which the flowers can absorb water up. Once you have made the cut under water, immediately move the stem to the water-filled vase.
  2. Remove all foliage that will be underwater. Underwater foliage will rot quite quickly, allowing bacteria to grow in the water and reduce the bouquet's bloom time.
  3. Plan on changing the water daily (at the very least every second to third day) to reduce the water bacterial counts. Each time you change the water, cut a short bit off the end of each stem (underwater) â?" this will further extend the life of the cut flower.
  4. Floral preservative is wonderful for flowers. It contains anti-bacterial water conditioners along with flower food and acidifying agents. If your florist gave you some, use it. If you don't have it, a dash of clear sugar-based drink like Sprite will work.
      Here is a simple recipe:
      1 teaspoon sugar
      1 teaspoon bleach
      2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
      1 quart lukewarm water
    Aspirins, very popular myth, don't do anything for cut flowers. However, it may work well on post-Valentine's Day headaches.
  5. Placing your vase in your home is an important factor in helping to keep the life of the flowers.
Avoid:
Full hot sunshine
Drafty areas
Warm places like next to heat ducts
Top of appliances such as televisions.

Pre-assembled in a vase filled with water:

  1. Plan on changing the water daily (at the very least every second to third day) to reduce the water bacterial counts. Each time you change the water, cut a short bit off the end of each stem (underwater) â?" this will further extend the life of the cut flower.
  2. Floral preservative is wonderful for flowers. It contains anti-bacterial water conditioners along with flower food and acidifying agents. If your florist gave you some, use it. If you don't have it, a dash of clear sugar-based drink like Sprite will work.
      Here is a simple recipe:
      1 teaspoon sugar
      1 teaspoon bleach
      2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
      1 quart lukewarm water
  3. Continue to change water and make sure you place your floral arrangements away from warm drafts.

Pre-assembled in a vase with the use of a floral foam (oasis)

  • If your bouquet arrives in wet oasis foam, keep the floral foam soaking wet by adding a small amount of preservative treated water each day.

    A note: After a few days, carefully remove the oasis foam (while keeping the flower stems inside the oasis), and allowed to drain for only a few minutes. Carefully place back the oasis in a clean vase with fresh preservative treated water, the bouquet's life can last far beyond the normally expected vase life.

    Other Tips:
    Make sure that the cutter/shears you use are cleaned and rust free. Cleaning your cutting tools with a little bleach is always helpful. Do not use common household scissors used to cut paper and fabric. Common household scissors can crush the vascular systems of the flower stem, inhibiting water uptake.

  • Make sure that the container you use is free of mildew and dirt. Wash your vessels in warm water with added bleach.
  • Not all flowers have equal life span, therefore, before you throw away the entire floral arrangement, try to save the few buds still happily blooming and cut them to fit a tiny bud vase.
  • Aspirin, vitamin pills, vinegar and pennies are just a few of the more common folklore additives used unsuccessfully to preserve flowers. I have not tried Vodka (another myth I recently heard about).
  • If you have no time to treat your flowers with floral preservatives, the key is fresh clean water and re-cut the stems. I am in favor of keeping things natural. Flowers are a part of nature and will eventually wilt but you'll be amazed with just a little care, how long your Valentines Day flower will last in your home.


  • Load Comments