Receiving a floral bouquet for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion is always a treat. Fresh flowers have an immediate impact on our mood and help us feel more connected to the person who sent it to us. Unfortunately, fresh flowers – especially delicate ones like roses, tulips and hydrangeas – don’t last very long and can be a chore to take care of in our tropical climate.
Jolene Ng, Assistant Marketing Communications Manager at FarEastFlora.com, shares her expert advice for prolonging the life of your fresh flowers and maintaining their colour, shape and scent. Follow her tips for reviving tired, limp blooms, from how often to change the water in the vase to how to trim the stems to keep the flowers adequately hydrated.
Q: To keep flowers fresh for as long as possible, how often should we change the water in the vase?
Jolene: I recommend changing the water at least once every two days. The moment you notice that the water is a little cloudy, you should replace the water in the vase.
Q: Is “flower food” really essential?
Jolene: Sadly, fresh flowers don’t last very long in our warm, humid climate. Adding flower food to the water can help prolong their lifespan so that you get to enjoy them longer. I recommend using the Chrysal brand of flower food that comes packaged with our bouquets. It contains nutrients for the flowers and helps regulate the pH level of the water as well as promotes water absorption, allowing the flowers to keep its form, colour and scent for longer.
Q: How can we prolong the life of delicate flowers like roses and tulips in our climate?
Jolene: These care tips will help:
- Keep the water clean: Change it every one or two days and remove the leaves below the water line. Submerged leaves can promote the growth of bacteria and contaminate the water.
- Ensure adequate hydration: Trim the stems at a 45-degree angle every one or two days. This allows the water to flow through the stems and reach the flowers more easily.
- Place the flowers in the shade: They should be displayed in a cool area and away from direct sunlight.
Q: How much should we trim the stems and what’s the best way to trim them?
Jolene: Cut them so that the flowers are no more than one and a half to two times the height of the vase. Trim the stems at a 45-degree angle so that they have more surface area to absorb the water.
Q: How do we revive flowers that look limp and tired?
Jolene: Most flowers will benefit from having their stems recut and being placed in warm water to which flower food has been added. If you have hydrangeas, I recommend submerging the flower heads in a bucket of clean water and letting them hydrate for 30 minutes or even overnight.
Q: How much water should we put in the vase and what temperature should the water be?
Jolene: Fill the vase to about two-thirds with tap water. Room temperature water is fine. I’d only use warm or boiled water to reopen clogged-up stems, but this also means fewer days to enjoy the flowers.
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