Sunday, January 13, 2013

Making Your Flowers Last Longer

I love flowers. Love them. I want them in my house 24/7, but I don't like spending a lot of money on fresh flowers every week. So there's the problem. Over the years, though, I've come up with a few sneaky ways to get the most out of a bouquet of flowers without splurging for fresh ones all the time.

Ok, so admittedly, I don't have any miracle way to keep your fresh-cut tulips from wilting. That's mother nature and I'm not about to go up against her. But, I have come up with a few easy tips to make the most of your flowers.

Who wouldn't want to enjoy all these pretty colors every day?
Tip #1: Buy mixed bouquets instead of a single type of bloom. Some flowers, like carnations, last forever (sometimes you just want them to die already and instead they linger for weeks). Others, like certain types of roses, can wilt in a couple days. Rather than reading up on the life cycle of every single flower I purchase, I just go for pretty mixed bouquets from the grocery store. (Wegmans has great seasonal mixes!) So that way, when your hydrangeas are headed for the garbage, you'll still have some lush daisies or lilies to enjoy for a few extra days.

Also, with mixed blooms, you often get some younger flowers and a few buds mixed in. These will open up after some of your other flowers are past their prime, adding days to your bouquet's lifespan.

Tip #2: Cut the stems to keep them going longer. I'm pretty sure my mom taught me this tip. But when the stems get old, they don't take in water as well, so your flowers start to wilt faster. Cut an inch off the stems with a sharp knife every couple days to extend the life. Also, flowers love fresh water, so don't forget to swap it out every so often.

Tip #3: Toss the wilted and then rearrange. It sounds like tough love, but if you've got a dying flower, get it out of there. I've seen my friends toss entire bouquets just because a couple of the flowers were passed their prime. One or two limp lilies doesn't mean your bouquet is dunzo. Just get rid of the culprits! Without the wilted flowers dragging things down, your bouquet will have a whole new life.

And if you only have a few stems still going strong after you weed out the wilted, downsize your vase or split them up into several small bud vases. By cutting the stems and changing the water, those flowers will also last longer. And by switching up the arrangement, you'll have a whole new appreciation for them. It's like two bouquets in one!

Tip #4: Mix fresh cut with house plants. To go along with #3, mix things up when some blooms kick the bucket. (You could even use a small bucket instead of a vase!) Supplement your arrangement by bringing in house plants you already own. A bit of interesting texture can really add depth to a grouping of flowers.

You can see an example of this below. The flowers are from the bouquet pictured above. I bought that bouquet on December 30th. And I took the picture below today, January 13th! Over two weeks of flowers with just one $7.99 bouquet! What's not to love?

A few surviving flowers look gorgeous when paired with an air plant. Keep the vases similar (ex. all clear glass) to make it all go together.

I hope this helps you make the most of your bouquets. Having fresh flowers in the house is such a sweet little luxury, no one should have to miss out! And of course, in summer, when the flowers are in bloom, don't forget to step out to the garden and bring a few blooms inside to enjoy. I guarantee a flower in the house will perk things up, if even just a little bit. :-)

PS - Happy Birthday Mom!