Flower Arranging Tips
for Better Looking and Longer Lasting Bouquets
1. Cut Early
Snip your flowers early in the day while they are fresh from hours in the cooler night temperatures.
2. Start Clean
A clean container, fresh water and even clean pruners go a long way towards extending the vase life of your blooms. Bacteria is the enemy as it encourages rot. Simply reducing bacteria formation is a big step towards better bouquets.
3. Strip Off Leaves
Foliage that sits below the water line in your vase decays quickly, fouling the water. Just removing the lower leaves prevents this.
4. Cut Stems at an Angle
Cutting stems at an angle provides a larger surface area for water uptake. To stay fresh longer your flowers need to remain hydrated. A sideways snips helps. If you're arranging purchased flowers, trim off 1/2" of stem to provide a fresh cut surface for water uptake.
5. Use a Flower Preservative
Commercial flower preservatives really do help extend the life of your blooms. Or you can make your own mixture by adding 2 tablespoons each of white vinegar and sugar to a quart of lukewarm water. Spoon in 1/2 teaspoon of chlorine bleach, swirl to blend and you're ready to fill your vase.
6. Consider Placement
Cut flowers last longer in cooler locations. Choose a spot to display your flowers which is out of direct sunlight, and not on the top of a warm TV and next to a radiator or hot air vent.
7. Change the Water
Some experts recommend changing the vase water daily. Probably a good idea but who has the time? We subscribe to the every other day (okay, sometimes every third day when times are hectic) approach and it seems to work fine.
8. Don't Mix in Daffodils
Flowers in the narcissus family, which include daffodils and paperwhites, have an alkaline sap that makes other flowers wilt quickly. That's why you don't see daffodils and tulips together in spring arrangements. Feel free to mix various types of daffs together; this works fine.
9. Combine Flower Textures and Sizes
The most interesting arrangements are ones that give the eye lots to explore. Include flowers that are large and small, fluffy and sleek, and solid colored and patterned
10. Add Foliage, Pods, Cones, Berries and More
Kick your arrangements up a notch with the addition of unusual elements. Include ribbed or variegated foliage (hosta leaves are great), colorful berries, shiny or matte pods and cones, and cool textured grasses. Be creative. Group small items, like single grass stems, in multiples so they're remain visible.