When you’re buying a bunch of flowers you want to get the best value for money, which means you want them to last as long as possible. No matter whether you buy your flowers online or from a local florist, you’d expect your flowers to last between 5 and 7 days before they start to wilt. It’s a little bit longer for bud flowers, with them lasting for around 14 days. But whatever flowers you get, you’ll always want to make them last longer. So what can you do to achieve that?
To give your flowers the best chance of a longer freshness, then cutting the stem correctly is crucial, because that’s of course where the water in your vase will be absorbed into. On many flower delivery service websites you can find a care guide that is tailored to their flowers, but many of the pieces of advice contained in them are universal. Take the flower care guide on Arena Flowers for example. When cutting your flowers, first make sure you remove all leaves below the water line. Once you have your flowers, then you should aim to get 2 to 3 cm off the stem at an angle - this will prevent the stems sitting flat at the bottom of the vase and will give a bigger surface area for the flowers to intake water. You then should aim to cut the stems every three days.
Adding water to your vase seems like a completely obvious thing to do, so it’ll probably come as no surprise to you. However, the amount of water you add can affect how long your flowers will last, as will any other substances you add to it. For the amount of water you’ll need, it depends on the stem type the flower has. As Flying Flowers mention in their care guide, flowers with woody stems like roses should have vases that are 2/3rds full with water, whilst softer stem flowers like tulips should only have ½ of the vase filled. If you have a bouquet with a mixture of the two stem types then you may have to use an in between volume.
Additionally, there are a few things you can add to the water to make your flowers last that bit longer. Many retailers, like Blossoming Gifts, include a flower food sachet with their flowers to make them last at least 7 days. It’s normally a mixture of bleach, sugar and citric acid which gives cut flowers the nutrients they need to survive for longer. If you don’t have a sachet to hand, then there are a few other options you can try to extend the life of your flowers. Using lemonade instead of water can make them last longer, or alternatively you could add a spoonful of sugar or a crushed up aspirin instead.
Where you decide to keep your flowers can have a big impact on how long your flowers will last. Ideally, after arranging the flowers in your vase and adding the water plus any flower food, you should display them somewhere away from draughts, ripening fruit, direct sunlight and heat sources. So even though a windowsill might be one of the best places aesthetically to put a vase full of flowers, it might be one of the worst places to put them if you want them to last as long as possible.
So hopefully if you take those tips into consideration you’ll have a long lasting bunch of flowers that you - or your recipient - can enjoy for as long as possible. One other method to make your flowers last longer is by buying them as late as possible, especially useful for when you’re gifting them to someone for Mother’s Day or a birthday. Many places online, like Teleflorist, feature next day delivery; with some like Clare Florist featuring same day delivery on some products. And if you use the flower delivery discount codes found on this site, you could save a great deal on flowers, plants and gifts too. However, one thing that could make your flowers last the longest is by buying them in bud form through letterbox flowers. Take a look here to see what they’re all about.
Written by Josh McGrillen - 1st March 2021