Stop and smell your roses… and give them a little TLCby Carol Caggiano on February 15, 2016 at 8:47 am
You were one of the lucky ones who got roses for Valentine’s Day! Doesn’t it feel special to receive flowers? Guaranteed, you won’t soon forget the person who gave them to you, or that feeling of love and appreciation when you received them. After all, flowers are scientifically proven to make us happy! While the memory could last forever, here are tips to help you keep the flowers themselves around as long as possible.
First, make sure the vase or container is filled to the top with fresh water. Often the water level is lower to avoid spills during delivery. It is important that the water reach close to the top of the vase to insure all stems have access to water. Next, place the flowers in a cool place away from heat vents, air-ducts and direct sunlight. Check the vase daily and refill as needed. Often flowers drink faster that we realize.
If your flowers arrive as a wrapped or boxed 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 the flowers. We often hear of “home remedies” suggested such as sugar, aspirin, soda and bleach. These items each can make a contribution but unless you can determine the correct amounts of each the results are often unsatisfactory and more expensive than the commercial food.
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 and buy a half dozen or so to keep on hand. These packets are inexpensive and they do make a difference.
As you are arranging your fresh wrapped roses in a vase, make sure you cut up to an inch off each stem to insure the flow of water. Often the end of the stem calluses over when exposed to air and the removal of that dried area allows the stem to draw water properly. Re-cutting the stems when you change the water in this manner also adds to the vase life of the roses. A little trick to keep in mind; if a rose begins to wilt prematurely, remove it from the bouquet and submerge the entire rose on its side in room temperature water (in a sink is usually a quick and easy method) for 30 to 60 minutes. Often the rose will rehydrate and can then be added back into the bouquet.
There is something magical about roses and, whether our Valentine bouquets are all roses or are enhanced with other beautiful blooms, there is nothing better to express love like flowers. Spending a few minutes to care for your flowers can add days on to their vase life and days more for you to enjoy.