Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and that means flowers are flying off the shelves.
In fact, Valentine’s Day is the “second-largest holiday next to Mother’s Day for the floral industry,” according to 1800Flowers via Fortune Magazine. It’s estimated that Americans will spend $2 billion on flowers this year, according to GoBankingRates.com.
If you’re the lucky recipient of a bouquet of flowers, here are some tips on how to make your bouquet last longer.
1. Clean vases are a must.
If whatever container you’re putting your stems in isn’t clean, bacteria will continue to grow and kill your flowers. MarthaStewart.com suggests scrubbing the vase with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water before rinsing.
2. If a whole leaf is submerged underwater, tear it off.
When leaves remain underwater, they decompose and bacteria grows. You must keep bacteria at bay if you want your flowers to last.
3. The colder the water, the better.
When you want to cook vegetables, you steam them with warm water until they wilt and soften. Think about it like this … if you use room temperature or warm water, you’re causing the flowers soften. The colder your water, the better your results.
4. Cut stems at a 45-degree angle.
When you cut flower stems with scissors, you are constricting the straw-like tube that allows nutrients to reach the top of the flower. Use a Swiss Army knife for soft stems and a pair of bypass cutters for woody stems. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle.
5. Measure flower food precisely.
Avoid taking the easy route and dumping flower food into the vase with your flowers. Too much flower food will poison your flowers, and too little flower food is somewhat pointless. Use the directions on the packet of flower food to follow the correct food-to-water ratio.
6. Fresh water is a must.
Every two days, or when the water gets cloudy, replace the water in the vase. With each water change, it’s recommended to clean the vase. Use the same recipe as above.