I can only count on one hand (maybe even less) the number of times I’ve received flowers in my life. However, I have kept these moments locked safely away within the library of my romantic mind. A clear indication of the significance I place on receiving flowers as a gift. Taking care of flowers, however, is a learned skill that needs practice!
Receiving flowers is to experience the most chivalrous gesture. And, taking care of your flowers is how you make that precious moment last a lifetime. If you’ve just received a colorful arrangement, you’re surely budding with excitement. Keep reading to find out how you can keep it blossoming for longer.
The History of Giving Flowers as Gifts
When we can’t find the words, flowers help us convey certain emotions. Congratulations, I love you, and I’m sorry, can all be said through the right bouquet. So, yes, a flower is more than just a pretty face. It is powerful enough to express the feelings that we as humans often fail to communicate. But, who do we thank for this age-old custom?
We can trace the traditional use of flowers back to Ancient Egypt. Egyptians had honored those laid to rest with bouquets, floral headpieces, and wreaths. But, the significance of gifting flowers only increased after the English and French discovered ‘floriography’ in Turkey. This ‘language of flowers’ gave meaning to every flower in existence and then influenced the custom of flower-giving in the Victorian era.
Although Victorian people appeared to outsiders a cold and emotionless community, they knew a thing or two about romance. After all, many ‘modern’ ideals about love have roots in the Victorian era. Back then, a gentleman would gift his lady with flowers to communicate his affection during their courtship. Today, a man can get away with forgetting about his wedding anniversary with a last-minute pop-in at the florist. In conclusion, thank heavens for flowers.
If your sweetheart can remember to surprise you with a bouquet, you can learn the basics of taking care of your flowers to make that romantic gestures last a little longer.
Bloom Back to Basics: 3 Ways to Take Care of Your Flowers
‘Let me put these in some water’ is your first thought when receiving a bouquet of flowers, right? It’s mine too. Bless our souls; we’re on the right track. But, it turns out there is some more TLC to be done in order to take care of your flowers and make your bouquet bloom brightly:
1. Change Their Water Regularly:
Thinking about the bouquet of Daisies I bought for myself this Valentine’s Day (which unfortunately died very quickly), I could have used this tip a few weeks ago. Nonetheless, I will surely be a better flower mom next Valentine’s Day and give my bouquet fresh water every 2-3 days.
2. Recut Their Stems:
Recut your flower stems as you replace their water. Using a floral cutter or sharp knife, you can remove ¾” to one inch from the bottom of the stem. If you receive a flower arrangement in a vase, you can use twine to wrap around the stems just above the vase’s edge. This allows you to cut without disturbing stem placements.
3. Keep Them in A Cool Spot:
I love how stunning my flowers look in the sunlight. But too much of a good thing…well, you know. It’s best to display your new bouquet in a cool spot, as flowers prefer temperatures between 65 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit (18 – 22 degrees Celsius).
Different Needs for Different Flowers:
Now that you (and myself) have got the basics down, you’ll also need to know how to care for your particular perennial(s). Taking care of flowers, especially those rare and precious, is not a ‘one vase fits all’ kind of task:
Lilies: A Sensitive Soul
Since lilies bruise easily, you must handle this flower with delicate care. At the same time, though, they can stain your clothes. So, be sure to remove its anthers (the orange pollen) as it grows. Otherwise, by following the basic care guidelines above, your lilies will stay happy for a long time.
Roses: R is For Romance (and Revival)
A rose is one of the few flowers you can bring back to life after it begins to wilt. All you have to do is cut an inch off the bottom of the stem and submerge it in some freshwater for 10 – 20 minutes. They bloom quickly in the sun but last longer in cool temperatures.
Alstroemerias: A Thirsty Flower
A new bouquet of Alstroemerias may appear very tight. But, with the proper nutrition and consistent water supply, they should bloom into a vibrant and colorful arrangement. Always ensure its vase is full of freshwater.
Carnations: Doesn’t Like Fruit and Vegetables
Who knew flowers and greens didn’t get along? Nothing personal, though; a natural gas called ‘ethylene’ is what’s keeping them apart, and with good reason. Fruits and vegetables naturally produce this gas which causes premature decay in flowers. So, it’s best to keep Carnations away from ripening fruit and vegetables.
Chrysanthemums: ‘Mums’ Need Love Too
Chrysanthemums bloom in a variety of colors and petal formations. To keep her looking pretty for longer, you must remove foliage as soon as it starts to droop or turn yellow. Recutting the stems often will also allow for more water absorption and increase vase life.
Gerbera: G is For Germaphobe
This flower actually originates from my home country, South Africa! A rather needy one as it is highly susceptible to bacteria blockage. A bouquet of Gerbera Daisies won’t settle for anything less than fresh water every 1-2 days, a shiny vase, and clean surroundings.
Hydrangeas: Like’s to Take A Warm Bath
Hydrangeas have wood-like stems that need to draw a lot of water for maximum vase life. If you do notice them looking a little sad, cut their stems at a sharp angle and submerge them in warm water for one hour. This should revive them to their gorgeous globe-like glory.
Iris: Nothing Short of Beautiful
Iris’s are stunning but, unfortunately, have a pretty short vase life. Although your time together will be brief, it will be beautiful. Keep water levels full and its vase bacteria-free to have this blue blossom on display for as long as possible.
More Tips On How To Take Care Of Your Flowers:
Here are some more flower care tips to have your bunch feeling ‘A-Bouquet’:
- — Aspirin works just as well as flower food in extending your flower’s vase life.
- — Always keep water levels high.
- — Don’t let spent or damaged petals stick around.
- — Always cut stems at a 45-degree angle
- — Avoid smashing or piercing stems as it can destroy water vessels
- — If your bouquet comes with instructions, follow them carefully.
A ‘Peonie’ For Your Thoughts
Taking care of the gifts you receive is the best way to show your appreciation. And flowers are no exception to this notion. You can make the most out of your new bouquet by using basic flower care guidelines and then some extra TLC. Let us never again allow our flowers to wilt before their time. May my daisies rest in peace, though
You’ve Learned A Ton About Caring For Your New Bouquet. Now What?
- — Send a floral arrangement to someone special
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Alex is a hopeless romantic who was supposed to be born in Italy (her dream destination), but proud to be South African nonetheless. She lives by her heart, and, consequentially, leaves a little bit of herself in everything she writes. She wholeheartedly believes that mermaids (and fairies) exist and is deadly afraid of the age ’30’.