Oh wow, someone gave you flowers, or maybe you couldn't resist a few for yourself. You can do a lot to aid in the longevity of those blooms.
First shop at a reputable source. Your local florist is trained (or should be) to process the blooms properly. We can spot a not so fresh bud a mile away. Some flowers, that aren't grown locally in Ontario can come a very long way to get to you. Hydration is key for flowers.
Check out the flowers auction in Amsterdam. A hub of the floral industry.
And best yet, shop at a florist with a conscious, like Apropos (insert shameless plug.) The growers that we buy from are fair-trade. Using good environmental practices and provide a fair wage, health care and education for their worker and their families. This is one of the farms many of our roses come from.
When you get your flowers home. Pssst don't leave them in a hot parked car, or heaven forbid a freezing one, they will be goners for sure. You want to get them in water as soon as possible. First prepare your clean vase with cool water. Use the little packets that come with your flowers, be sure to measure the water accordingly. A half litre is your 2 cup measuring cup which has a handy little spout. If you don't use enough of the preservative you may as well not bother, and to much you'll burn your blooms. In that amazing little powder is every wives tale you've heard. Let me tell you I've heard them all, pennies, bleach, vodka, sprite, even potatoes. The powder contains a disinfectant to prevent bacteria from growing, sugar to help promote full bloom and hydrating solution to help the stems draw up water.
Remove any leaves that will be below the water line. Using a sharp knife or secateurs (not scissors) give each flowers a fresh cut on the diagonal and place DIRECTLY into your prepared vase. When you cut a flower it's like it takes a breath, you want that to be water not air. Roses are particularly sensitive to bent neck, this is caused by an air bubble stuck under the head of the rose. You can fix it by wrapping the rose in a tube of paper and re-cutting it. Remove the paper in a few hours and it will be straight again. Treat yourself to a new pair of stem cutters, you'll find them easier than using a knife. Keep them just for flowers and always clean.
Place your beautifully arranged (a future topic) flowers in a place away from direct hot sun. Avoid putting them close to fruit, which give off ethylene gas. Good for ripening your avocados, but not your flowers. Give them fresh water and re-cut the stems every few days.
Think about treating yourself to a flower a week. Put it by your bed and start your day with a smile.
You may be interested in how Apropos is trying to do our part for the environment.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by ~ Sheri.