On the eve of Valentine's Day we thought it might be helpful to go over how to keep your cut flowers lasting and looking their best...
"Do you use those little packets of flower preservative??"
Nope. Simply keep your water nice and clean. Over the years we haven't found any additional benefits to using floral preservative. Perhaps the trick is good old Exeter tap water? Cool or room temp and remember, warm water encourages tight blooms to open.
When prepping loose flowers, be sure to clean off any leaves that might fall below the water line of your vase. Wet leaves = dirty water.
Cut your stems at an angle and get them right into water. Stems will eventually close up if left out of water and cutting at an angle allows more surface area for water absorption. Make sure those scissors are nice and sharp; using dull blades can crush the stems.
Every few days change the water in your vase. This can be tricky if you have a beautiful arrangement that you want to keep in tact. Our technique (with the faucet running) is to hold the bottom of the vase in one hand and then gently hold the flowers aside with your other hand; slowly tip the vase, pour the water out and refill.
If your water is EXTRA dirty, try gently gathering the arranged flowers at the neck of the vase, as if they were a loose bouquet; lay them on the counter while you wash your vase with dish soap and thoroughly rinse. Gather your flowers again and recut the stems before placing them back into water. We rely on the stems weaving together to keep the structure of the arrangement, making it easier to keep everything in tact. No tape grids to get tangled up in - just floral ingenuity.
"My roses look really OPEN..."
Let's begin by noting that in our shop we try really hard to source rose varieties that are consistently long lasting and equally beautiful. We also prefer to use large, show stopping, blooms. You will not find exceptionally tight buds accented with babies breath and fern - that's just not our style. With that being said, it's a common misconception that an "open" rose isn't fresh. He's the trick - gently squeeze the head of the rose; a firm center indicates longevity. Though we would never purposely use older blooms in our arrangements, it should be noted that in our opinion sometimes that most beautiful roses are big and bold and blown wide open in all of their glory.
"My Hydrangea wilted!!!"
They are beautiful, but cut Hydrangea can be finicky. Their stems have a tendency to clog and they don't appreciate warm weather or hot rooms, sometimes resulting in wilted blooms. At the very first sign of softness, re-cut the stem and the bloom should revive once it starts to drink again. You can also try to encourage a comeback by plucking off any excess leaves when you recut the stem; leaves drink water too and removing them allows more water for the blooms.
Totally desperate? Fill the sink with water and submerge the entire stem, bloom and all, until you see it perk up ( this could be as long as 45 minutes ). Remember, the shorter the stem, the least amount of distance the water has to travel to hydrate the bloom. Low and lush for the win!
"My flowers are GROWING?!?"
It's true. Some varieties (i.e. - tulips, hyacinth and anemones) still grow after they're cut. To keep your arrangement looking picture perfect, simply extract those growing blooms and snip off the excess length before tucking them back where they belong.
"After a week some blooms look great and some... not so great."
Our signature arrangements are chock full of premium blooms. We believe in flowers over filler. We've spent years trying to find the best of the best to offer in the shop. We've always wanted to give our customers options that they won't find somewhere else (hello, grocery stores). Here's the thing - those grocery stores buy flower varieties in bulk (keeping costs down) and therefore one could assume that grocery store flowers need to be particularly lonnnng lasting. We expect the blooms you receive from our shop to last anywhere from 4-6 days, depending on the variety.
First thing's first, always try giving a wilted flower a fresh cut and fresh water (hydrangea aren't the only finicky flowers - we see you peonies). On day six you may have some strong contenders that lasted well beyond your day 4 blooms. We suggest removing what has passed and rearranging what remains. I feel like there's a "self care" metaphor in there somewhere...
Never hesitate to call the shop if you have a concern (we're here to help) and don't fret, plant care and orchid tips will be tackled in future blog posts.