Tips for Flower Care and Arranging

I love to have fresh flowers in my home.  Whether it's a floral arrangement for the week or a centerpiece for a dinner party, flowers add a lovely elegance.  Before I get into this post, I need to start by stating that I am in no way a floral expert.  There is definitely an art to arranging flowers and I know I am very far from mastering that art.  The purpose of this post is to simply share some of the tips I have picked up over the years that have really made a difference in the style and longevity of my arrangements.

Certain Flowers Need to be Cut Under Standing Water

  • When you take your flowers (specifically roses and hydrangeas) home it is extremely important to cut them under standing water on an angle.  
    • The reason being that when flowers are first cut, the stems immediately take in whatever element the fresh cut is immediately exposed to.  If that element is air, your flower stems will inhale air bubbles and the result will be wilted dead flowers within a few days.  On the other hand, when your flower stem is immediately exposed to water when the stem is cut, it will create a steady stream of hydration throughout the stem that will help the flowers to live for weeks…YES WEEKS!!!

3 Colors Max

  • I try to keep my flower arrangements to a maximum of 3 different colors.  Keeping the variety of colors used to a minimum helps to create a cleaner and more professional looking arrangement.

Every other day you should:

  • Clean out the vase to keep bacteria from growing (killing your flowers prematurely)
  • Replace the vase water (tepid water is recommended for most flowers)
  • Cut the ends off of the stems on a diagonal to aid in promoting maximum water absorption 

On the look-out

  • Every day you should check and discard any dead or decaying flowers in order to prevent contaminating the other living flowers in the arrangement.
  • Make sure all leaves below the waterline have been trimmed away.  Leaves are unable to take in oxygen or light underwater, so they will only provide additional decay to your vase if left.  
  • Keep your flowers out of any areas with intense heat (ex. Heating Vents and/or Windows with Intense Sunlight)

Use the leftovers!  

  • When arranging hydrangeas, I always save the excess leaves to use on my cheese platters and bud vases.  I also take the broken flowers heads and combine them into a tight arrangement with a rubber band (not very professional I know, but it does work).  The bud vase pictured below is an example of scraps that I have rubber banded together and had on display in my home for well over a week.  The scraps used in the juice glasses on the window sill lived for over two weeks!