FB-SAF-Blog-VD-1Valentine’s Day is here, and hopefully a lovely arrangement of flowers arrived for you from someone you love. Romance is literally in full bloom when flowers arrive.

Because flowers are so beautiful and bring us such joy, we want them to last as long as possible. There are a few simple things you can do to ensure you get every moment of enjoyment from your lovely bouquet.

First, make sure you place them in a cool place away from drafts, sunlight and heat vents. Once you have the flowers in your chosen spot, filling the vase to the brim with cool water will help make sure that all stems get enough water. Often all the stems do not go all the way to the bottom of the vase. Flowers drink a lot of water, faster than you might think. Checking the water daily makes sure there is always enough for even shorter stems.

If your flowers arrive as a wrapped bouquet that you place in your own vase, make sure you add the little packet of floral preservative that comes with the flowers to the water as directed. This preservative contains both nutrients for the flowers and a biocide to keep algae at bay. Science has proven that using a floral preservative does extend the vase life of flowers. Changing the water every few days also helps, especially if you continue to add the floral preservative to the fresh water each time. These little packets usually come with your flowers, and I always keep some handy at home. Stop in your local florist next time you are in town and buy a half dozen or so to keep on hand. These packets are inexpensive and they do make a difference.

One last tip is to recut the stems of your bouquet when you change the water. Removing up to an inch of stem gives the flower a “fresh cut” and opens the stems to continue drinking water. As the bouquet ages, the stems can callus over restricting the flow of water to the blooms.

Fb-SAF-Blog-VD-2As some of the flowers begin to fade, it’s fun to restyle your bouquet and make some new smaller arrangements from the foliage and flowers that are still looking good. It’s simple to do and fun to create a different look with your flowers. Gather up some small vases and containers such as a small milk pitcher, miniature bottles, bud vases, julep cups or even mugs. Select blooms from the original bouquet, trim to a shorter length and arrange in these smaller vessels. You can display them grouped together or scattered throughout the house in special little spots so you can enjoy each bloom a few more days.

Spending just a few minutes to care for your flowers makes it possible to enjoy them just a little longer.