Care & Handling of Flowers

Most floral arrangements last 4-7 days or longer, depending on the flowers used and the care they receive. The Society of American Florists provides these tips for longer-lasting, more vibrant flowers:

Selecting Flowers

When selecting flowers, look for flowers with upright, firm petals and buds beginning to open. Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are signs of age. When using woody stems and branches (such as quince, forsythia or lilac), cut the stem with sharp pruning shears. Place them in warm water containing fresh flower food to promote flower opening.

General Care and Handling Tips

    1. If your flowers arrive wrapped in decorative paper, it's best to get them in water as soon as possible. Don't leave them out of water for more than a few hours.
    2. Always recut the stems of flowers before placing them into water.
    3. Cutting the stems of the flowers at an angle will allow a better interface between the flower stem and the water, and will help water uptake.
    4. Room temperature water is fine. Don't use water that is icy. Very warm water can often revive wilted flowers, (if they are not too far gone, but also causes them to open and age faster).
    5. You can buy specially prepared flower preservative from your florist. These have some sort of food for the flower and also something to keep the water cleaner. Use these in your vases of water.
    6. Change the water in glass vases every two to three days. Add fresh water and flower preservative.
    7. If you receive a vase arrangement made in a foam base, it is important to remember that as the flowers drink the water from the foam, it will gradually get dry. So it's a good idea to add water every day or so to the design.
    8. Vase arrangements won't do as well as possible if placed for long periods of time in a window with direct sunlight.
    9. Similarly it's not a great idea to place your flowers for long periods on a refrigerator, radiator or dishwasher, as they give off a bit of heat.
    10. Don't place your flowers in a direct draft from an air conditioner.
    11. Flowers do freeze at 32 degrees and below, so it's not good to leave them in unheated automobile, etc.
    12. Remove any decaying flowers from an arrangement or vase of flowers.
    13. If you receive flowers to wear, don't store them in the freezer as they will freeze!
    14. Never leave flowers out in heat for long periods of time. This can happen for example, if you're buying flowers in hot weather, & leave them in the trunk of your car, etc.
    15. If you buy or receive flowers and something doesn't seem right, don't wait three days. Contact the florist right away. S/he is more likely to be able to assist you if you don't delay.