Flowers are a gorgeous way to decorate any home. Their scent, beauty, striking colouring and freshness give a pleasant and calm feeling to every room. Flowers have historically been associated with what’s beautiful in the world, and research has shown that flowers have an immediate and long-term effect on positive reactions, moods and even memories in women and men. Sadly, cut flowers won't last forever, and even the most alluring bouquet will eventually dry out. Thankfully, there are some tricks and tips which you can utilise to help make a bouquet of flowers last longer. Keep reading to find out more.

Water

Water is crucial to extend the life of a bouquet of flowers. From temperature to quantity, there are a few steps you can’t miss when it comes to ensuring the flowers can thrive and last longer:

• Don’t fill the vase completely: Contrary to what most people might think, more water doesn't mean the flowers will automatically last longer. That said, of course the denser the bouquet is the more water it will need. However, it’s better that the stems touch only what’s necessary to survive. Otherwise, if the majority of the stem is submerged under water, it may become weak, decreasing the life of the flowers. As a general rule, try to fill the vase a bit less than halfway.
• Use lukewarm water: Water temperature is important too. Much like humans, most flowers don’t enjoy the extremes. That’s why the stems will absorb water better if it’s lukewarm or room temperature.
• Consider using filtered water: Even though tap water is fine, generally speaking, the purer the water, the better it is to drink. This applies for flowers too. It’s not like you have to start buying springwater especially for your bouquets, but if you have one particular bouquet that you would like to last extra long, consider using the purest water you can get – even rainwater will do the trick.
• Keep an eye out for water level: Water is the flower’s food, so you will see a decrease in levels over time. Make sure you check it daily and add some more water when necessary. Bear in mind that some flower types need more water than the others.

Cut

It’s not about just placing the bouquet in a vase, adding water and hoping for the best – Cutting the stems a certain way will aid in prolonging your flower’s life.

• Make an angled, diagonal cut: The science behind this is pretty simple: by cutting the end of the flower’s stem diagonally, a larger area of the stem is left exposed, making it easier for the flower to absorb more water and transfer it to the blossoms.
• Recut when necessary: After a few days, the end bit of the stem can look a bit weakened by the water. While this is completely normal, it’s a good idea to recut it again and expose a fresher part of the stem to the water. You can even trim them daily for even better results.
• Be quick: Don’t wait too long between cutting the stems and placing them in water, because as soon you make the cut, the stem will start creating a seal (air embolism), that will eventually stop the flower from absorbing water easily. In fact, it’s even better if you can cut the stems underwater, as that will help to prevent the stem from drying up.

Flower food

Just like mom gave us our vitamins when we were young, flowers can also benefit from certain substances to stay fresher for longer.

• Pack of flower food: Some bouquets come with a little square packet, don’t throw it away! It’s probably a powdered flower food, that can help in nourishing the flowers so they last longer.
• Make your own: If your bouquet doesn’t come with a little pack of flower food, that’s okay, because you can make one yourself. You’ll need sugar, lemon juice and bleach. Sugar provides the carbohydrates that cut flowers need to live longer, a tiny bit of bleach will help to kill all bacteria (and prevent new bacteria from appearing) and the lemon will give the concoction the acidity the flowers need to maintain their correct pH levels and absorb more water. Just a tiny amount of this mix (a teaspoon) should be enough.

Vase

Where you’ll keep the bouquet is also important. If you’ve gone to the trouble of getting beautiful flowers, the vase should also be up to standard!

• Make sure the vase it spotless: When placing the flowers there for the first time, the vase needs to be spotless, preferable sterile, to avoid any unwanted bacteria or dust contaminating the stems. A good wash and soak with a bit of bleach should do the trick.
• Position it correctly in the house: Choosing a strategic spot for your flowers is key to helping them to last longer. A place with too much direct sunlight, that is too humid or too hot might not be the best, so instead, choose a spot which is a bit cooler, with light but not direct sun rays.

Your home will feel happier and more inviting with a bouquet of flowers. With this guide, you’ll be able to extend that daydreamy atmosphere by making your flowers last longer. If you’re already feeling inspired and want a bouquet either for yourself or as a gift for someone else, check out the beautiful arrangements we feature here at Gift Flowers.