There’s nothing quite like a colorful bunch of fresh flowers to make the world feel like a better place. In terms of home decor, they’re a quick, affordable fix and a great way to stay in tune with the changing seasons. However, no one likes droopy blooms, slimy stems or murky water, so at a recent flower-arranging workshop for Houzz UK, Stuart Fenwick, floral artisan for Bloomon, shared the following tips for making your bouquet last longer.
Act fast. When you get back from the shop or market, take your flowers out of their packaging right away, cut the stems and put the blooms in fresh water. Don’t give them a chance to wilt — treat them with lots of care right from the start.
Add bleach. Change the water every three days, clean out your vase with bleach and put a small drop of bleach in the water to kill any bacteria. Not too much, though — you don’t want to kill your flowers too!
Cut stems on an angle. When changing the water, cut the stems on an angle, ideally using a clean, sharp knife. Sharp scissors will do the job as well, if you’re not so handy with a knife. If you have any woody stems, cut them vertically up the stem so that more water gets to the head of the flower.
Don’t overwater. Use shallow water in your vase to stop the deterioration of soft stems.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re working with woody stems, such as berries. These need all the water they can get and will appreciate a deep drink.
Trim excess foliage. To avoid murky water and slimy stems, make sure not to immerse any foliage in the water, since this is the usual culprit that makes flowers go bad quickly. Any stems below the top of the vase should be stripped of foliage and buds.
Stay away from fruit. Did you know that fruit and flowers don’t really mix that well? To make your flowers last longer, keep them separate since many fruits, including apples and pears, give off ethylene gas, which makes blooms deteriorate.
Related: Decorate a Buffet With Your Bouquet
Keep them cool and happy. Flowers placed on a sunny windowsill will open super fast but fade just as quickly. For optimum flowering conditions, keep blooms out of direct sunlight, and away from radiators and other sources of heat.