3 min read

We love fresh cut flowers!  Whether it is a surprise bouquet from our sweetheart or bringing the outdoors in by selecting blooms from our gardens, we want to keep our flowers looking fresh and vibrant for as long as possible.  If you've struggled with knowing how often to cut the stems, what temperature of water is best for blooms, whether you should place them in a sunny window or cool shady spot, then you've come to the right place! We thought we'd talk to the experts (our local flower farmers!) and break down six of the most common pitfalls with fresh cut flowers and how to prevent them.

No. 1 - Preparing the stems.

Before placing the flowers in your vessel with water, trim at least 1/2 inch of each stem with a pair of sharp scissors.  Make sure not to trim them too short as you will want to trim off another 1/2 inch each time you change the water out (keep reading below for more info on the frequency of water changes).  You will also want to remove any leaves that sit below the water line to help prevent bacterial growth.

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No. 2 - Finding the right water temperature.

Once your stems are cut, quickly place them into room temperature or lukewarm water.  While placing stems into hot water can help them absorb the water faster, it will also cause the blooms to open prematurely.  Lukewarm water will provide the least amount of shock to your delicate blooms.  You will want to replace the water every 2-3 days to discourage bacteria from growing in your arrangement.

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No. 3 - Using flower food.

Have you ever wondered what is best to add to your cut flowers to prolong their life?  If you don't have that little packet of flower food that comes with a cut bouquet at the ready, there are some homemade remedies that will also aid in extending the life of your flowers.  You can make your own flower food by adding 1 part sugar, 1 part regular bleach to 2 parts lemon juice.  Make sure to add this mix to your warm water before adding your bouquet.  For example, for 1 quart of water we recommend 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp bleach and 2 tsp lemon juice.  You will want to add your flower 'food' each time you exchange your water, every 2-3 days.

No. 4 - Arranging for pitfalls.

When arranging blooms, you are looking for ways to prevent bacteria growth. This includes choosing the appropriately-sized vase (you don't want to crowd your stems), not using a clear glass vessel should your blooms be placed in any sunlight (this would only promote bacterial growth) and gently stripping away any parts other than the stems that will come into contact with the insides of the vase or water.

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No. 5 - Finding the perfect spot.

Your flowers will be happier for a longer period of time if you can avoid placing them in areas where the temperature will fluctuate, in bright light (especially sunlight), in hot or poorly ventilated areas or near ripening produce.  A pro tip: place your bouquet in the refrigerator overnight to prolong the life of the blooms!

No. 6 - Avoiding bacteria build up.

Once you are finished displaying your flowers, it is important to sanitize the vase you used. We recommend bleach or the dishwasher on a sanitize setting.  This will prevent your vase from harboring bacteria for the next batch of flowers you bring into your home.  It is not recommended to use porous surfaces, such as pottery, for both flower display and food consumption.  

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Here's to beautiful blooms all year long, whether you purchased them from your local flower farmer or grew them yourself!  Do you have an insider flower care tip?  We'd love to know - share your tip in the comments below! 

Love supporting your local flower farmer? 
Check out our sweet shirt on flower farmer Dawn Cosgrove, available in our shop now!

Flower Farmer Shirt by Magnolia Roots

Share the Love!  Pin us on Pinterest!

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