We want you to be able to get the most out of your flowers, and have put together a few tips and tricks to extend the vase life of your blooms. In general most of the flowers that you’re receiving through our subscription should have about a five to seven day vase life. Occasionally some flowers are shorter lived, while others are completely everlasting.
- Use a clean container or vase. And by clean I mean that you would be willing to take a big drink out of! Dirty vessels clog flower stems and cause difficulty in the flowers hydrating properly. Bacteria are not a flowers’ friend. You will want to check the water in the vase every 2 to 3 days. If you notice your water getting dirty, dump it out and fill it (almost full) with fresh cold, clean water. Large flowers arrangements will be able to consume large amounts of water and may need a refill.
(Nerdy flower fact): Flowers don’t drink the water up the stem like a person sucking through a straw, they take in water through capillaries all along their stems in a process called capillary action!
- Keep out of direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Ideally a cooler spot is ideal. Even though vases on window sills are lovely, sunshine and heat will reduce your vase life significantly. Heart sources like fire places or heat registers will also cause flowers to decay faster.
- Don’t place a vase next to your fruit bowl. Ripening fruit and vegetables give off Ethylene gas, an odorless invisible gas (completely safe to humans just not great for cut flowers). This is especially important if you have bananas or apples in it as they give off higher levels of ethylene. Cigarette smoke can also have the same effects on your bouquet.
(Nerdy Flower Fact): The way flowers respond to ethylene gas is all part of the great natural cycle. Ethylene is a plant hormone and helps move plants along their life cycle. In a normal plant cycle we eventually want ethylene to signal that the flowers should drop their petals and produce fruits and seeds… however for cut flower purposes we want the stems to hold those petals as long as possible.
- Give them food! Bouquets are sent out with a packet of flower food each week. However you can make up your own flower food with the following recipe: 1 quart water +2 Tbls Lemon Juice + 1 Tbls sugar + 1/2 tsp bleach. (Yes bleach, and maybe you’re thinking that sounds like something that would kill a flower, but remember above we talked about bacteria being a huge cause of decay, bleach serves to disinfect and prevent bacteria from clogging up all those capillaries in the stem!). There are a few flower varieties that are not a huge fan of food including sunflowers, zinnias and gladiolus.
- Trim the stems. You do not need to do this immediately unless you are arranging for size in the vase. The flowers you receive in your bouquets were cut only hours before they were delivered. Every 2-3 days when you add new water you can give the last 1/2 inch a fresh cut to extend life.
- Remove the dead ones. If certain flowers in the arrangement start to rot they will add bacteria to the water. Pull those out, and let the others shine.
Eventually it will be time to give the entire bouquet a toss to the compost. The great thing about our weekly subscriptions is that you will have a fresh set of blooms on your table before you know it. Just be sure to give that vase a good scrub or throw it in the dishwasher to be ready for your next delivery.