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How to care for your flowers

You have received your beautiful flowers and of course would like them to last as long as possible. Our market fresh, and when available farm fresh flowers have been conditioned and kept in an optimum environment before they were delivered.

There are also a few simple things you can do to at home for both florist delivered flowers, shop or market purchases or those picked from your garden.

If you have purchased flowers in a cellophane or plastic sleeve, remove this as soon as you get home.

Give a fresh cut to the stems on an angle using a sharp knife or secateurs. Cutting on an angle allows more surface area for the stem to absorb & transport water.

Remove any leaves that will fall below the water line and clean stems as much as possible.

Using lukewarm water help the water up take

Change the water every 2-3 days. This along with keeping the vase clean helps stop the build up of bacteria. Bacteria blocks water flow in the flowers’ stems, causing your blooms to wilt sooner. ​

If your flowers came in container with floral foam, 'water' every 1-2 days

Use lukewarm water each time you fill the vase The tiny packet of flower food usually supplied with your flowers helps fight microbes which cause flowers to deteriorate and it also provides flowers with nutrients.

It usually contains bleach to disinfect, citric acid to reduce the water's pH and sugar.

Or make your own flower preserver:

To 500ml of water add

1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon household bleach, 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar

Keep flowers in a cooler spot away from drafts & direct sunlight and heaters if possible.

A position away from fruit is best. Some fruits produce ethylene which ripens other fruits & flowers causing them to deteriorate.

Mist petals with a water spray.

Some flowers have their own special needs

  • Gerbera Daisies do better with only a small amount of water at the bottom of the vase - only the bottom 5cm or so of the stem in water

  • Peonies are big drinkers! Check the water level daily as you might need to add fresh water, and always check before re-cutting the stems, too. Rinsing the flower head can help it to open.

  • Irises - Buy flowers in the ‘pencil’ stage, showing colour or just starting to open

  • Tulips & Daffodils - Before placing tulips with daffodils, which secrete a sap that clogs other flowers’ stems, condition daffodils in water for a day and do not recut them.

  • After receiving roses only remove about 1/3 of the foliage. Leaves are needed to help “pump” water up the stem. Remove thorns that will be below the water line. Take care de-thorning the roses: leaf and stem wounds allow air bubbles to enter the stem which will impede water uptake.

  • Misting all of your tropical flowers daily will keep them moist and maintain their fresh look.

  • Hydrangeas are very thirsty. Soaking the heads for a few hours even over night will firm up and extend the life of the flower. If the flowers wilt, fill a vessel with boiling water and pop the stems in for a couple of hours.

Further reading you might find helpful

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