Caring for Your Flowers
Some flowers last a day, some last 3 weeks. Even within species, there can be big differences in vase life among types and cultivars.
What you can do
These tips will keep them looking their best for 4-7 days once you get them home:
- Clean your vase to remove any bacteria or fungi that might ruin your flowers.
- Use warm water and let it sit for a few minutes so all the air bubbles can escape.
- Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle, under running water if possible. This creates a wide opening to the xylem (where the flowers drink up water) and keeps air bubbles to a minimum so they don't block the water pathways.
- Keep away from fruit. Fruits produce ethylene, which tells a plant to ripen, and that will shorten the life span of your flowers.
- Place in a cool position. If you're leaving the house for a day or two, you can put your flowers in the fridge (away from fruit). The cold reduces microbial growth and the metabolic rate of your flowers, extending their life!
- Keep away from direct sunlight, drafts and air-conditioning.
- Maintain adequate water levels and change the water completely every two days.
What we do
The top 5 factors that determine vase life of flowers are:
- The variety itself. Some flowers last a day, some last 3 weeks. Even within species, there can be big differences in vase life among types and cultivars. For example, single-stem sunflowers last several days longer than branching varieties.
- Stage at harvest. Most flowers can and should be picked before they are fully open, after which they continue to open in water. Picking at the optimally early stage gives the end-user a longer vase life than waiting until the flower is fully opened.
- Time of day at harvest. Flowers should be picked in the morning or evening; picking during the heat of the day makes it more difficult for the flower stem to uptake water, resulting in shorter vase life.
- Temperature and light after harvest. Flowers that are exposed to heat and direct sun after harvest will suffer.
- Cleanliness. Once flowers are cut, they take up water through their stems. Bacteria can clog the stems, reducing water uptake and causing them to wilt prematurely. Therefore, it is imperative to reduce the chance of bacterial contamination.
At Twig & Bloom we:
- Mix different varieties together (unless it's a specific product like our Market Fresh Lillies).
- Try to mix together flowers that are open and closed (with the majority being closed) so that the bouquet looks beautiful on delivery, and lasts.
- Source locally where we can, which means we know when they were harvested.
- Store our flowers in an air-conditioned room, out of direct sunlight.
- Keep anything that touches the flowers extremely clean.