Well, Valentines Day is around the corner, so this is probably a serendipitous time to post this tip!
Yankee Bill bought me a lovely bouquet of roses after he came back from his trip to the Barrett Jackson car auction about a week and a half ago. Don’t I just have the most wonderful man? They were very pretty and sat in a nice glass vase that we already had on either the kitchen table or the sofa end table, depending on where we needed the room. Every time I looked at them they reminded me that he had been thinking of me.
I really love cut flowers, but we don’t splurge on them very often. Of course I like to make them last as long as possible when I do get them. So here is what I do.
#1-Keep them out of reach of the little people. A vase full of water and flowers plus a three year old can equal disaster.
#2-Re cut the stems, on an angle, before you place them in the vase to make sure that the capillaries are open and they can really take up water. If your bouquet comes from a good florist, you probably don’t need to do this. If they come from the grocery store and have been there for a bit, you might have to. Use your judgement.
#3-Make sure that there are no leaves below the water line in the vase. For some reason when there are leaves under water, the cause more bacteria or something to grow and your flowers seem to die quicker and your water gets that really funky smell. Very gross.
#4-Keep water in the vase. Without water most flowers WILL DIE. Seems like a no brainer, but sometimes I forget this.
#5-Conventional wisdom says to add a crushed aspirin and some sugar to help “feed” the plant. If your flowers came with one of those little packets of plant food, use that instead. Read the directions on the packet, even if you are a man. Usually that packet is for an entire Litre or Gallon of water, not a little tiny vase-use the right amount.
#6-Finally, when things start to fade, re purpose the rest of the bouquet.
Usually I can take out the parts that are looking dead and wilted, and then recombine the things that are left to make several smaller arrangements that I can then enjoy. When you have a mixed arrangement there may be some flowers that fade quickly mixed in with flowers that last much longer.
In the case of roses, you can sometime revive one that looks icky and dead by gently pulling off the exterior petals that look browned and crumpled, leaving you with flowers that look much improved!
I regret that I did not take a before picture this morning, but here are the after pictures of my redesigned flowers.
Most of the red roses sort of dried on the stem, so I remade them by placing them into two glass spice jars that I had. I didn’t bother to add water, since they were dried. I placed a little sprig of baby’s breath in for filler. These are going in my entertainment center, although Princess wanted one in her room.
The 2 small red roses that were still fresh I combined with a small piece of fern (I cut off the rest and then trimmed off all the other leaves to make this proportional) and placed it in a well cleaned salt cellar. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that salt in your flower water is probably not a good thing, at least not in any noticeable concentration. . . . . This is a tiny little arrangement and I placed it on the table in our front entry.
The larger pink roses were trimmed way down in length, the outer petals were all pinched off to remove curling and browning, all of the leaves removed, and I surrounded the whole shebang with tons of the baby’s breath. I then stuck them into a bud vase. Of course, this is going to require water daily because the vase doesn’t hold much water, but a bigger vase would cause the roses to flop over, and I don’t have one of those little “frog” things to make the flowers stand up. (and if I did I probably wouldn’t get it to look right anyway)
Now I’ll be able to enjoy these for another 4 days to a week or so!
Oh, and as a last point, if you are actually ordering flowers from a florist for somebody (and these days, don’t bother paying an FTD fee, just Google a florist that is physically close to whoever you are sending the flowers to, then call and ask if they deliver. You’ll get a bigger arrangement for the same money because FTD isn’t taking their cut out), don’t be afraid to be specific. I know my mom loves flowers, but she works all day so only has limited time to enjoy any that she gets sent. So on the rare occasions that I send her some, I always make sure to specify to the florist that I want flowers that will last a long time. Sure, her arrangements may be heavy on the carnations and daises and light on the orchids and roses, but hey, she gets to enjoy them for twice as long!