You get a gorgeous bouquet and you’re excited. You put it on display, snap your Instagram photo of it, and have just earned yourself some major bragging rights. But, within a day or so, it starts looking sad. The stems are bending over. The blooms are wilted. There’s a mass of leaves and petals around the vase. What gives? Flowers should last for several days and in many cases, a full week. Did you kill it or was it DOA? Here’s a few things to check to see if it’s you and how to prevent it.
1. You’re Waiting Too Long to Put Them in Water
Your flowers are thirsty when they make their way to you. They’ve likely been without water for a few hours and they need a drink as soon as possible.
2. You’re Not Cutting the Stems
Stems work a lot like straws. The ends have to be freshly cut so they can sip properly. It’s also important to cut them at a slight angle to ensure the bottoms don’t rest on the bottom of the vase- it’s hard for them to soak up water that way.
3. You’re Cutting the Stems Vertically
Somewhere along the line, word was spread that cutting the stems vertically gave flowers more area to drink from. It doesn’t help, but it can damage the cell structure.
4. You’re Untying Them
Premium florists often make hand-tied bouquets. This is a special way of arranging them so that they hold their shape even out of a vase. It looks beautiful, but it also gives the flowers some breathing room so they last longer. If you receive a hand-tied bouquet, you can remove ribbons and other embellishments, but don’t untie it.
5. You Aren’t Using the Food that Came with Them
Most florists send along a little packed of “food” for the flowers. The packets have all sorts of things in them that keep the water clean and help your bouquet drink, which can extend the life of your flowers by several days.
6. You Aren’t Pruning
To keep your flowers looking their best, you’ll need to make sure there are never any leaves below the water line and that all withering leaves and petals are removed.
7. You’re Using a Dirty Vase
Flowers are very sensitive to their environment. Even if the vase you’re using has been in storage and looks clean, you should still wash it and make sure it’s thoroughly rinsed before putting flowers in it.
8. You’re Not Changing the Water Enough
Generally speaking, you should change the water out every three days or so, but you should also do it earlier if the water becomes cloudy. When you change the water, be sure to trim the stems a bit and purine the flowers again.
9. You’re Keeping Your Bouquet Where it isn’t Happy
Flowers are affected by their environment. They don’t like being too hot or too cold. They don’t like drafts and can get scorched with direct sunlight. The air around them can also cause them to wither. Produce gives off gas as it ripens, which can do a number on your flowers, and cigarette smoke will fatigue them fast.
10. Your Flowers Didn’t Come From an experienced Florist
The best florists and flower delivery services will make sure that you’re getting the freshest possible blooms and that they’ve been taken care of properly up until the bouquet gets delivered. Although you can’t change this, and you probably shouldn’t mention poor quality to the person who gave you the gift, it wouldn’t hurt to drop a few hints at a later date or mention the name of a florist you know offers better bouquets.