Cut the stems immediately
If the bouquet doesn’t come in a vase, make sure you cut the stems before you place them in a vessel. “Hold the blooms to the side of the vase to measure where you will need to cut the stems,” Callie Bladow, production director at BloomThat, says. “Then cut at least one inch off the bottom of the stems on a 45-degree angle. This will help the blooms absorb water and keep them looking fresh.”
Pick the right vase
Take a look at your flowers to determine the height of your vase. “A good rule of thumb is to choose a vase that covers about half the height of the stems,” she says. This will offer support for the stems. You can get creative—instead of a vase, use a pitcher or even a candle vessel that’s already burned down (and cleaned).
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Change the water regularly
“We suggest changing the water every other day, but some blooms, like peonies, drink a ton of water so you may need to refill the vase more often,” Bladow says. “It’s also a good idea to re-cut the stems and add a little more flower food each time you change the water. This will help you get the most vase life out of your blooms.” You’ll want to keep the water free of leaves or petals—they’ll add bacteria to the water as they decompose. Bladow says roses in particular will start to mold and get mushy if they are submerged in water.
Add nutrients to the water
Most bouquets should come with flower food, so don’t forget to sprinkle some in the water. “One package can go a long way,” she says. “Make sure to read the instructions as you typically don’t need to put a full packet in right away.” If you run out of flower food, squeeze a little lemon juice in the water, or add half a teaspoon of regular cane sugar.
Choose a place to display them wisely
Some flowers like a lot of sun exposure, while others will die quicker if they get too much sunlight. “Tulips really like to be in direct sunlight as they are photo-sensitive and grow, open, and close, based on levels of sunlight,” Bladow says. “But for most other blooms it’s better to keep them out of direct sun. Instead opt for places like dining room tables, nightstands, or fireplace mantels to display your blooms.”