Flower Care Guide


If you are going to buy a bunch of flowers or a floral arrangement there are many ways to maximize the value you get from your purchase.

The helpful list below is designed to aid you in getting beautiful, long lasting blooms.

Buying flowers

  • When buying from your local florist it is best to purchase in the morning when it is still cool and there is less direct sunlight.
  • When selecting fresh flowers, look for flowers with upright, firm petals and buds beginning to open.
  • Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are signs of age, as are open blooms and flower stems that give off an odor.
  • Try to aim for bunches that have buds and are starting to open.
  • Be careful not to buy flowers too closed, because you run the risk of them not opening fully. However, unlike other flowers, lilies will bloom from tightly closed buds.
  • Take extra care with roses, which are sometimes cut prematurely, causing the heads to droop before the blooms open.

Caring for your flowers at home

Whether you purchase flowers yourself or receive a surprise delivery, there are things you can do to increase their life. Most flowers last between 2 and 4 days, depending on the level of care. Care instructions will differ depending on the arrangement, so follow the directions below for specifics. Here are some basic pointers to get you started.

  • Do not worry if the flowers look a little tired from their journey. With water, they will perk up.
  • Be aware of where you place your arrangement; factors such as sunlight, heat and drafts can affect the life of your flowers.
  • Make sure your flowers have a daily supply of water. This means topping them up when the water gets low.
  • Follow the care instructions below for your specific arrangement.

Bouquets & Posies

Here is the best way to prepare your bouquets and posies once you get them home

  1. When arranging your flowers choose a clean vase with fresh water. For shorter stemmed flowers use a shallow vase to give the arrangement structure.
  2. The vase should be tall enough to cover up to half of the stems.
  3. Remember, you can always trim the stems to make your flowers fit.
  4. Clean your vase thoroughly making sure you get rid of any soapy residue.
  5. Fill the vase with fresh water and add flower food. For best results ensure the water is not ice cold. The water should cover 10 – 15 cms of the stems.
    • If you do not have flower food you can use aspirin instead. Simply crush two uncoated tablets and add them to the water.
    • Stir the flower food or aspirin for one minute before adding the flowers.
    • Avoid metal containers as these neutralize the effects of the flower food.
  6. Carefully remove the packaging from the flowers.
  7. With a sharp pair of scissors, cut 2 – 3 cms from the stems, or, if you need to cut more, make the stems the correct length.
    • Make sure you cut the stems at a 45-degree angle. This creates a larger surface area allowing the stem to absorb water more rapidly.
    • Avoid cutting through nodes on the flower stems – these appear as almost ‘knuckle’ like sections on the stem length.
  8. Before you place the flowers in the water, strip any foliage from the stems that would otherwise be in the water. Greenery such as this is a major contributor to bacteria in the water.
  9. Place your flowers in the vase and create the perfect arrangement.
  10. Display the flowers in a cool location away from drafts, direct sunlight, heaters, air conditioners, and fresh fruit. Though this last one might sound odd, as it ages fruit releases ethylene gas, which can trigger the early death of fresh flowers.
  11. Every 2 days add fresh water and flower food/aspirin.
  12. If scum develops on the inside of the vase, remove the flowers, clean the vase, and fill it with clean water.
  13. Most importantly, remember to enjoy your flowers!

Self – Contained Arrangement

With self – contained arrangements all you need to do is make sure there is enough water and nutrients to keep your flowers happy.

  1. Check the arrangement daily to ensure the oasis is moist. If the oasis becomes dry it is less likely to take up water again, so be sure to keep an eye on it regularly.
  2. When topping up the water or re-moistening the floral foam, add flower food (or aspirin if you do not have any) to provide the flowers with much – needed nutrients.
  3. Keep flowers in a cool spot away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators
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