I love having fresh flowers in my house, but I hate it when they wilt after just a few days and have to be thrown away. So over the years, I've learned a number of tricks to help cut flowers last longer, from choosing the right varieties to exploiting the beauty of the last bloom. Here are a few hints; please feel free to share yours below.
- Choose sturdy varieties of flowers. Some flowers just last longer than others. Daisies, carnations, and hydrangeas will stay nice for quite a while, as will alstroemerias, which is why you often see them adorning the tables of restaurants.
- Seek out tightly closed buds. Particularly for shorter-lived flowers—such as stargazer lilies, roses, and tulips—buy buds that aren’t quite open yet and let them bloom in the vase.
For the rest of my tips,
- “Cut in” the stems. Before putting a batch of flowers in water, cut each stem at an angle with a very sharp knife. Also, you know that packet of flower food that often comes with an arrangement? Use it.
- Keep the water fresh. Just as you would with a plant, keep adding water to the vase as the flowers soak it up. Every few days, dump the dirty muck and replace it with fresh water.
- Weed out the wilted ones. Instead of tossing a whole bouquet with a few brown blooms, pick out the troubled flowers and toss them, then transfer the ones that still look nice to a smaller, clean container.
- Down to just one flower? Display it solo in an understated bud vase.