Foraged or home-grown flowers – Cut flowers in early morning or early evening the day before arranging so flowers can take up a “good drink”. Place in a clean bucket of lukewarm water(gives flowers more oxygen, will keep them alive longer), in the dark, plunged up to their neck overnight. This will give them the best start!
Cut stems a long as possible, bearing in mind placement and size of arrangement.
Remove any unnecessary foliage, especially any that lie under the water line. Leaves left in the water create bacteria. Removing foliage also ensure that the water goes to the flower rather than the leaves.
Store Bought Flowers – Re-Cut all stems( about an inch) after purchase or before placing in water. Cut stems underwater to prevent an air bubble in stem that would prohibit flower from taking up water. Leave the flowers in cool water for at least an hour or so before arranging.
Frequent Re-cutting of stem ends will prolong the life of the flower.
Buckets/Jars MUST be clean. Add a little bleach to water to prevent flowers from decomposing.
Try not to place your cut flowers in direct sunlight or near a heat source. Keep as cool as possible
When forcing flowers to bloom, place near a radiator or in the sunlight.
Woody Stems –slit stem vertically about ½ inch up before placing in water
Milky Sap stems (Euphorbia, poppies, hollyhocks, poinsettia) – Cauterize the end of stem by holding over burning flame until it turns black
Hollow-stemmed flowers (Delphinium, amaryllis) – turn stem upside down, fill the stem with water and then plug with cotton. If you don’t have cotton, keep your thumb over the end of stem until it is under water.