1. Add the floral life extender.
A floral life extender packet, known as 'Floral Preservative' is typically included with your floral delivery. It consists of sugar, which is the 'Flower Food', for the flower sustenance and bactericide. Bactericide helps to keep the bacteria count in the water low. If you do not have floral preservative, an aspirin, (not Ibuprofin), works just a well. Aspirin seems to lengthen the life of the flowers. Different flower types do have different ideal maintenance requirements, which we will talk about in future newsletters.
2. Check your flowers daily.
Always keep the vase, container or liner filled with fresh water. Even if the container has floral foam, you should keep the water level high to promote long lasting flowers. The container's water has a fresh flower food added to it. Add fresh water mixed with a commercial fresh flower food supplied by the florist. It contains the correct ingredients to properly nourish the flowers, keep bacteria at bay. Bacteria is one of the causes of a shorter vase life as it blocks the stems and prevents them from absorbing water. The sugar provides the energy to open buds and to lengthen the life of the bouquet. It's one of the best—and easiest—ways to extend the life of your flowers, but be sure to follow the directions on the package correctly. Improperly mixed flower food can actually do more harm than good.
3. Keep the stems cut.
The bottom of floral stems should be cut every few days. This is easier to do for cut flowers or vase arrangements. A fresh cut on the bottom of the stem ensures that water can move up the stem into the flower and prevent wilting.
4. Use a clean vase.
When placing cut flowers into your own vase make sure you clean the vase well with bleach and rinse it prior to using the vase. This will destroy any dormant bacteria in the vase from a previous use.