Care for Flower Arrangements
Keep the vase filled (or floral foam soaked) with water containing a flower food provided by your florist. Flower foods provide sugars, balance ph and limit bacterial growth. It is important to follow the mixing directions on the food packet. Most packets are to be mixed with either a pint or a quart of water. Do not dilute with more water than is specified on the packet.
Check your arrangement daily to make sure it has plenty of clear fresh water. If possible, re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife or scissors that will not crush the stems. Immediately place the stems into warm solution or deeply and firmly back into floral foam.
Keep flowers in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit), away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or near appliances. Heat from appliances or hot and cold drafts cause flowers to dehydrate.
Care for Loose Flowers
Keep your flowers in a cool place until you can get them in a flower food solution. Don't forget how important it is to follow the mixing directions on the flower food packet. Fill a clean (washed with a detergent or antibacterial cleaning solution), deep vase with water and add a flower food from your florist. Remove leaves that will be below the waterline to deter bacterial microbial growth that will limit water uptake by the flower. Re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife or scissors. Place the flowers in the vase solution you've prepared.
If you purchase loose flowers for your own arrangements you should also consider these tips: When selecting flowers, look for flowers with upright, firm petals and buds beginning to open. Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are signs of age. When using woody stems and branches (such as quince, forsythia or lilac), cut the stem with sharp pruning shears. Place them in warm water containing fresh flower food to promote flower opening.