Once you take your beautiful fresh organic flowers home what do you do next to keep them fresh for a long time?
Here are some tips: 1) Recut: If your bouquet was dry (not in water when you got it) or if you are moving the flowers to a new vase, recut the stems. Best to cut them at an angle so the stem transport tissues have maximum surface area exposed to absorb water. This makes a big difference! Re-cutting stems can give you several extra days. It even works on Trader Joe flowers.
2) Clean up: Trim off any leaves that will be in contact with the water. They are quick to get funky and in that funk is bacteria that will travel up the flower stems and make the flowers wilt.
3) Hot bath: If some stems are are droopy they might need a boiling water perk up. Dipping the stems for 30 seconds or so in a couple inches of just boiled water can make droopy flowers perk up again. It seems risky but if your flowers are drooping and seem to be headed toward the compost what's the harm?
4) Tall drink of (clean) water: The less they have to work to transport water up their stems the easier it is for them to stay hydrated. Changing the water daily will give you a couple extra days!
5) Feed them: You can mix up the packets of flower food (don't dump the whole thing in the vase - it's usually meant for a much larger volume of water) or mix your own with a food source (sugar, some use lemon-lime soda) and a disinfectant (good old bleach is very effective and requires drops to work, if that's not your thing you can use vinegar). There are many recipes on-line for these.
6) Pluck: if flowers are fading remove them before they get so far gone and the longer lasting flowers will thank you.
7) They won't keep forever but you can use your flowers to build soil and keep the cycle of growing and blooming going endlessly if you compost your stems. Waste NOT: If you care enough to purchase local organic flowers please care enough to compost them when you are done! If you don't have your own compost at home the bouquets make unexpected and pretty mulch bundles when stashed under bushes. They were designed to return to the earth and give back the nutrients they used in growing. Please help them complete their journey.
*** Please note: Flowers are by definition ephemeral beauties. Some (like Iceland Poppies, garden roses, and dahlias) have relatively short vase life (less than a week) no matter what you do. I wish I had some magic tricks to make them last weeks. Other varieties of flowers actually do last weeks!