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Have you ever carefully chosen your favorite flowers and arranged them in a beautiful bouquet, only to watch them wilt hours or days afterward? If you find it hard to keep your posies perky or your lilies looking fresh, check out the tips below for ways to keep your blooms at their best.
1. Make sure to keep your flowers in a cool spot as you travel home from the florist. Don’t leave them in the sun or close to heater vents, because that will only accelerate the wilting process.
2. If you choose to place your bouquet in a refrigerator while you unload groceries or find a vase, be sure to place them away from the fan or vent where the cold air enters your fridge. Fresh-cut flowers do not like extreme temperatures.
3. You may be planning to keep your flowers wrapped until you can give them to your special someone, but it is best to unwrap the stems and place the bouquet in a vase of water. Keep the water lukewarm – you don’t want to heat or freeze the blooms. Leave the vase in a cool spot like your garage or basement, because the ideal temperature for preserving cut flowers is around 34 degrees.
4. When you are ready to display or present your flowers, use a sharp knife or pair of scissors and your vase of choice. Unwrap the cellophane and remove the binding that holds the stems together. Divide the bouquet into sections of like flowers and spread them on your counter or table top. Pour the floral food packet into the vase and fill it three-quarters full of lukewarm water. Choose the flowers you’d like to arrange first, cut about 1 to 1.5 inches off each stem, and immediately submerge the blooms in the vase of water. Make sure to cut on an angle to maximize the amount of water the stems can drink up. Then, get creative and arrange the flowers any way you like.
5. Display your vase of flowers out of direct sunlight and away from heating or cooling vents.
6. Drain the water every few days, rinse the vase and replace with clean water. Cut about 1 inch off the stems and arrange them in the vase again.
Reviving wilted blooms
If you have followed the directions above and a few days later your flowers look listless, it could be for a few reasons. If the flowers were left out too long a scab may have formed on the end of the stem, preventing water from traveling up. Or, the water in the vase became too cloudy and polluted the stem. Extreme temperatures also cause wilting. Try these tricks to revive your bouquet:
1. Take your wilted flower and snip the stem at an angle about 1 inch from the already cut end of the flower.
2. Add three teaspoons of sugar to the lukewarm water in your vase, and place the wilted flower in and let it sit. The sugar will perk them right up!
3. Sprinkle a few drops on the center of the head of the flower.
4. Try this with just one bloom or the whole bouquet, and as the flowers rest in the water, they should drink it up through their newly-snipped stems.
5. If the flowers do not perk up even slightly within 3 hours, add another teaspoon of sugar and a little more water.
These tips should add anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to the life of your bouquet.