One of my guiltiest pleasures is keeping fresh flowers in our apartment all throughout the springtime. It just feels so nice to have something bright and alive after the dreariness of January and February. I rely on Trader Joe’s thanks to their selection and price point, but I want to make them last as long as possible. Below are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned for extending the life of those beautiful blooms!
1.) Use flower food– Those free packets of powder actually make a difference! I only use one (unless it’s a really big bunch), and I break out a new one when I change the water every few days. I’m not advocating being the jerk that takes extra packets, but the employees at Trader Joes will usually give you a few extra.
2.) Cut stems on an angle– I always cut the stems and put them in water as soon as I get home. It’s best to cut them on an angle to help water circulate through, and I re-trim them every 2-3 days to keep water flowing in. It helps to have those fancy floral shears, but they’re not necessary.
3.) Get rid of the leaves– I always thought leaving the flowers with their original leaves would be best for the health of the flower, but I was totally wrong! The flowers should be cleared of all leaves, or at least any below the water line. The leaves can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria which ends up killing the flower prematurely.
4.) Boil the stems– Yes, I swear! For thick-stemmed flowers (like hydrangeas), holding the re-trimmed stem in boiling water can actually open up the pores (which tend to get clogged with sticky residue) and allow water back in. I’ve been able to bring two sets of hydrangeas back to life with this trick! I think it’s a matter of catching them before they’ve crossed over into the land of no return.
These tips are all fairly basic, but they can make a big difference! My mom has been building her floral design business so I picked up most of these tips from her. If you have any other questions, leave me a comment… and I’ll ask her because I’m useless. Hooray for the impending spring weather and fresh flowers!