The first step to making your flowers stay fresh longer is by following a few flower care guidelines. Use the tips below to to extend the life of your blooms from the start.

Cut the Stems One of the most common mistakes people make after receiving flowers is forgetting to cut the stems. Use garden shears to trim one to two inches off and cut at an angle. Cutting the stems at an angle allows for better water intake since they aren’t sitting flat on the bottom of a vase. After the initial cut, be sure to re-trim your bouquet once every few days.

Prune Remove any leaves below the water line. It will not only make your bouquet look better, but also prevent bacterial growth. Some flowers, like roses, have guard petals which are the two or three outermost petals of the flower. Removing these will allow your flower to open up fully. After your initial pruning, you should check your flowers daily for dead or loose leaves and petals in order to avoid bacterial rot.

Water Wisely It’s not only important to get your bouquet hydrated, but to do so wisely. Your flowers won’t last long without water, especially once their stems have been cut. After picking out a clean vase, fill it with room temperature water and add in a packet of flower food. Make sure that the packet has been properly mixed and that the water is not too diluted or too concentrated. It’s also important to clean your vase thoroughly and change out the water and flower food every two to three days.

Avoid Direct Sunlight, Heat, Drafts and Fruit Your flowers will last longer in a room with cool temperatures. Avoid displaying them in direct sunlight or near appliances that generate heat. You’ll also want to avoid areas like open windows, heating or cooling vents and ceiling fans as they can cause the flowers to quickly dehydrate. You also shouldn’t display your bouquet near fruit. That’s right, ripening fruits release tiny amounts of ethylene gas which can reduce the longevity of your fresh arrangement.

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