Receiving fresh flowers is a special treat for anyone, and flowers can work as a great pick-me-up for those who have been ill or as a way to celebrate any occasion at home or in the office. Once fresh flowers arrive, you want to do everything you can to keep them fresh and looking their best. Note a few tips on how to do this so that you know any bouquet you receive lasts as long as possible.
Cutting the flowers
Fresh flower stems should be cut at an angle and should always be cut underwater. This will prevent air from getting into the stem and drying it out. Cut the stems while holding them in a bowl or sink with just a few centimetres of water, and then quickly transfer them to a vase.
Keep the water in a vase clean; remove leaves and broken stems every day as this debris can quickly rot and contaminate the water. Once this happens, the stems of the flowers may not get sufficient water, leading the flowers to wilt. It's also good to regularly empty the vase, and clean and dry it thoroughly, so that no algae or other debris builds up inside. Do this at least every few days so the water is always clean and fresh.
Don't fill vases completely, but add just enough water to cover a few centimetres of the bottom of the stems. If the entire stem of the flowers is sitting in water, they will absorb too much of this moisture and then wilt and rot. If you notice that the bottoms of the stems are very soft after a day or two of being in water, consider reducing how much water is in the vase.
Temperature and sunlight
Flowers need warm air and sunlight when they're blooming outdoors, but once flowers like lilies are cut for a bouquet, they become much more delicate, so be careful when it comes to their placement in your home or office. Don't put fresh flowers in a windowsill, where they'll be exposed to harsh sunlight or cold air. Keep the flowers away from heating registers for the same reason; heat from your furnace can dry out the flowers, and air conditioning can also cause them to become brittle. Choose a cool, shaded area of the home or office to display them, and the flowers should last much longer.