Cut Flower Care Instructions

The following is a general guide to give you information on how best to look after cut flowers in your home.

Flowers for a Vase

  • First prepare the vase for the flowers.  Make sure you clean the vase thoroughly before use. A ¼ teaspoon of chlorine bleach in a litre of water can be used to clean any nasties from the vase interior (be careful not to splash the bleach on to your clothes).
  • Add flower preservative crystals (where available) to the vase, and then about half fill the vase with fresh, room temperature water. If you don’t have flower preservative you can make some:  Flower preservative recipe.
  • Remove the water bag that is tied around the base of the bunch (take care to do this in a sink so that you don’t spill the water). Cut the thin tie ribbon at the opposite side of the stems to the ribbon bow; this will remove the ribbon bow and allow the cellophane water bag to be easily removed.
  • Remove any leaves that will be underwater (if any) from the stems as they will rot and cause bacteria in the water. Place the bouquet into the vase of fresh water. Check to make sure the base of all stems are in water, if they are not add more water.
  • Change the water in the vase and Cut half a cm off the base of all flower and foliage stems  every two or three days.  Cutting the stem bases removes air pockets that may have formed inside the stems, and ensures that the flowers can take up water properly.

Flowers in Florist Foam

  • Arrangements in ceramic pots; boxes  and baskets are made with florist foam and don’t need any special treatment on arrival at your home, the foam contains all the water the flowers need for the first day.
  • Every day or so you need to add more water to the foam base. Check the water level by carefully feeling for the bowl under the foliage; there should be some free water inside the bowl, (or pot) if not you need to top it up. I find the easiest way to do this is with a bottle, a jug or teapot as the spout allows you to direct the water toward the centre of the arrangement. Add the water slowly trying not to get water on the flowers themselves. The amount of water to add varies and depends on the flowers and the room temperature, take care not to overfill the container that the foam sits in, test the level with your finger.  Generally I say add about half a cup of water every 2nd day.             
  • Take the pot; box or basket to your kitchen bench to add water, so that if you over fill the water won't run onto your good furniture.

For all Cut Flowers

  • Flowers in a vase and flowers in florist foam are best placed in a cool spot out of direct sunlight and away from drafts.
  • Avoid putting your flowers near fruit as the gas fruit gives off as it ripens speeds up the ageing of flowers.
  • Check daily and add more water if needed.
  • After some days the mature flowers on a stem age past their best, carefully cut these flowers out of the arrangement to allow the flowers and buds around them to open, keeping the arrangement looking fresh.