If you're expecting a bouquet of flowers this Saturday, prepare yourself with a few of my tips on keeping them fresh and oh-so-pretty. If there's no man in your life to shower you with Valentine's Day gifts, treat yourself! You deserve it. If your beau brings you flowers every day of the week, you need not read further, and you really should be giving me lessons. Otherwise, to hear my tips,
- Do not put your flowers in warm water; this dehydrates them. So once you've cut them, place them in a clean vase filled with cold water.
- Cut flowers can sometimes go into shock when they experience extreme fluctuations in temperature, causing them to die suddenly. So, keep them away from warm or cold air drafts, don't transfer them from a hot room to a cold one, and don't leave them overnight in a place (i.e. work) where the heating or air conditioning may be turned off at night.
- The waterline on the stems shouldn't be any higher than about a half of a foot.
- Some florists sell packets of "flower food" that kill bacteria growing on your flowers. It may work like a charm, but you don't need them: I have some easy household alternatives for you. One tried-and-true alternative is adding a couple tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar; the acidity will kill off bacteria. I just use whatever is handy. Pouring in a tablespoon of bleach should also kill off mold.
- Cut the stems of your flowers every couple of days, and replace the water and flower food whenever you do this as well.
- You should also make sure to pick off any foliage below the water line to prevent bacteria growth.
- If your flowers have wilted, you can try to restore them by putting them in a vase filled with near boiling water.
- Most florists receive their fresh flowers at the beginning of the week, so by Friday, they're already on their last legs. Buying your flowers earlier in the week will give you more time with them. On the other hand, most florists will give you a good discount on stems if you buy them on Friday.