Tips for the Best Vase Life
Whether you come see me at the farmer's market or grab a bunch of flowers at the grocery store (but why?!), you're probably hoping for a good vase life, right? Well friend, I've got just the tips and tricks for you.
One thing to know about vase life is that there are some flowers that just last longer as cuts than others. Celosia can go for two weeks! On the other hand, poppies fade after a few days. That's just Mother Nature, baby. While you may be able to get an extra day or two out of a poppy with proper care, it'll never be a super long lasting flower. I typically don't grow short-lived flowers, but some, like poppies, are just so special and rare that I'm compelled to. I've found that the best approach with those exceptional blooms is to appreciate their ephemeral beauty while it lasts and wait for them to come back around the following season.
The other thing to know about vase life is that it's all about water uptake. What keeps a flower fresh is water and nutrients. If the stem becomes clogged with gunk and can't take up water, the flower dies. So all of the tips I'm about to share are intended to keep water flowing up the stem.
Cleanliness is Vaselifeyness
It sounds obvious, but using a clean vase is the single most important thing you can do to keep your flowers fresh. I'm talking clean clean. Drink out of it clean. Fresh out of the dishwasher clean. If your vase isn't clean, you risk breeding bacteria quickly and bacteria equals gunk on the end of the stem that prevents your flowers from drinking.
Recut the Stems
You have to cut the stems. I know, I know. "But Roxy, that's work." I get it. I can barely fold my laundry. But I wouldn't feel right calling myself your local Weymouth flower grower if I didn't give you the tough flower love.
Every two days or so, take your arrangement to the sink, lift all of the flowers straight up out of your vase and with a CLEAN, sharp knife or pair of scissors or snips, cut one inch off the bottom of each stem. Don't use dull blades because you might crush the stems, which defeats the purpose of the cut. Before you pop the flowers back into your vase...
For the Love of Pretty Flowers, Change the Water!
Do not leave your gorgeous fleurs in cloudy, stinky water. Would you want to drink that? I promise you, your ranunculus don't either.
Every other day, preferably when you recut your stems, give your vessel a rinse and refill it with cool, clean water. If your bouquet came with flower food, use it! Look for dosing instructions on the packet. Flower food slows down the growth of bacteria in the water and provides nutrients to keep your blooms looking their best.
Keep Your Flowers in the Right Spot
I cringe when I see a magazine photograph of fresh flowers on a windowsill. That might look great in Village & Homeland, but it's not the way to get the most out of your bouquet! For the longest vase life, keep your flowers in a cool place, out of sunlight, and even away from produce. Some flowers are ethylene sensitive and will fade faster if exposed to it.
So there you have it. My not-so-secret list of ways to make your bouquets last.