As a wedding planner, one of the worst things that can happen is being entrusted with someone's wedding day flowers only to have them die. Today I want to share some of my tried-and-true methods to extend the life of your cut flowers!
Put a crushed Aspirin in the water. Aspirin can mimic the effects of floral food.
Change the water and re-cut the stems every few days. Changing the water helps prevent the presence of bacteria around your flowers, which helps them live longer, and freshly cut stems help the flowers continue having access to the water they need to stay alive.
Put a penny in the water. The copper in pennies is thought to act as an acidifier, which helps in preventing bacteria growth.
Use the food the florist gives you. This stuff really does help keep your flowers fresh longer!
Snip stems at an angle, not straight across. This gives the flowers a better surface to be pulling water up the stem. When you cut them straight across, sometimes you end up completely blocking the flowers from absorbing water because the blunt edge is resting entirely against the bottom of your vase. It is especially beneficial if you cut the stems under running water (to prevent as much air as possible from going up the stems and blocking water flow.)
Remove all leaves that would be in or on the water. (And remove the guard petals - outer 2-3 layers - on roses.) Leaves in the water can promote bacteria growth and make the flowers decay faster.
Remove flowers that are wilting so that the ethylene gas they release while they are dying doesn't kill the other flowers.
Always use a clean vase. I think you've probably caught on to the theme of preventing bacteria growth, so starting with a clean base is always a good idea.
My Secret for Choosing Healthy Roses: When choosing roses, give the flowers a gentle squish where the petals meet the top of the stem. If this area is squishy, the flowers are old. If this area is firm, the flowers are fresher and should last longer. Or you could order your roses from an awesome company like The Bouqs, who pick their flowers fresh from the side of a volcano directly before sending them to your door!
(Side Note: For wedding arrangements/boutonnieres/corsages/etc I usually put them in a fridge to keep them chilled until it's time for them to be used. This, however, is not practical for keeping flowers around the house to enjoy which is why I didn't include it in my list. An important note about putting flowers in the fridge, though, is that you want to keep them away from fresh fruit/veggies since they release gases that can actually kill your flowers.)
What are some of your tried-and-true methods for keeping flowers fresh?
P.S. Some people swear by putting some drops of soda in with the water. They say the sugar extends the lives of the flowers. I have never tried this method, however, so I can't say.
P.P.S. Some people swear by using bleach. From my research, it can help keep your flowers alive longer but it turns your flowers stems white and even change the colors of your flowers.