How to select and care for fresh cut flowers

help select and prolong the life of beautiful cut flowers, follow our flower selection, care and handling tips:

Healthy choices which last

When selecting fresh cut flowers from a florist or flower market, look for those with upright, firm petals and buds beginning to open. Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are signs of age. Here are few other flower selecting tips:

Nose Knows - Smell the water…it should smell fresh and clean.

Stem - Additionally, look at the stems, they should be clean and not slimy.

Avoid - Flowers that may have breakage in the stems.

Blooming beginnings

Extra care of fresh cut flowers can prolong the enjoyment period. Following are some tips to help get fresh cut flower arrangements off to a good start:

Cool Off - While preparing to put the flowers in a vase, store the blooms in a cool place.

Clean - Vases, floral clippers and knives should be clean. How clean the tools and container are can truly affect the presentation and life of the flowers. Wash the tools and selected flower container with a detergent or antibacterial cleaning solution.

Food for Thought - Commercial flower food solution is a must. Follow the mixing instructions on the flower food packet. Most packets should be mixed with either a pint or a quart of water. Flower foods should not be diluted with more water than is specified.

Leaf - If the leaves on the stems will fall below the water line, remove. Leaves in water will promote bacterial microbial growth that may limit water uptake by the flower.

Cut - Re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife while under running warm water. Place the flowers in the vase solution you've prepared.

Climate Control - Keep fresh flowers out of direct sunlight and away from drafts (like air vents, heater vents, or fans).

Maintenance Musts

To prolong the life of fresh cut flowers, maintenance is a must. It is important to re-cut stems and change water often.  The Flower Doctor offers these other things to consider:

Do Downsize – The once appropriate sized vase may be too big once the stems are cut. Move to a smaller vase and rearrange. 

Divide and Decorate – Don’t be afraid to separate flowers into different groupings and move them into different rooms of your home as the stems get shorter and the vase gets smaller.

Maximum Enjoyment – When flowers are coming to the end of their life cycle, cut the stems 1/2" from the blooms and float them in a bowl of water).  Lay blooms and petals on a plate with some candles or in a bed of potpourri to let them dry naturally.