Flower Power

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As much as I love the sight and smell of a vase full of beautifully picked flowers, there are few sadder looking things then a brown, wilted arrangement that has outlasted it’s welcome in a home.

Here are a few tips to keep those bouquets fresher and lasting longer.


Not only one of my favorite things to sip on (oops), but it turns out tulips enjoy it too! Nope, I’m not even kidding. I heart a good batch of tulips but used to lament that they would always “sag” and fall loosely to the sides of any vase I put them in almost immediately.

To avoid the dreaded droop, splash a small cap full of vodka in the water when you bring the flowers home. The tulips will suck up the alcohol and stay stiffer and more upright for far longer (insert bad joke here..). Be careful to use the vodka sparingly however. Too much of the hard stuff and they will react just like people do after too many shots – poorly.

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Ice Cubes

One of the most helpful hints I’ve ever received regarding orchids was to water them with one ice cube a week. I have over watered more plants then I care to admit to, but a single ice cube placed right at the stem base of a potted orchid seems to be the magic measurement.

There are those who worry above freezing their plants stems when exposing them to ice. In my experience, the cubes melt so fast (especially with indoor plants) that it doesn’t allow enough time to cause any damage to the root systems.

Note: If you have more than one orchid in a singled potted arrangement however, you may need to up the quantity to two cubes.

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Knife Work

Vodka shots, ice cubes and knifes….this post is starting to sound like an evening gone horribly wrong huh?

The single best thing you can do for your arrangements when you bring them home is to re-cut the ends of each stem. A freshly cut stem allows the flower to suck up more water and it will subsequently last longer. A helpful trick, always use a knife instead of scissors for this task. Scissors will smash stem ends together and do the reverse of what you indeded to do in the first place because they close the opening of the stems, versus open them. A sharp knife will cut straight through the stem cleanly and won’t have the same “smooshing’ effect the scissors cause. (Is smooshing a word? It should be.)

Tip: Cut the stem on an angle, not straight down. This provides the maximum amount of surface area that the flower can suck up water from.

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A simple rule to live by with flowers is not to touch the actual petals. The oils from your hands will turn the petals brown and cause them to loose life far sooner then they otherwise wood. So resist the urge to handle the buds and work with the stems instead.


Practical Tip of the Day:

Pot vs. Vase

The other solution for avoiding fast dying arrangments – purchase potted plants. You can find virtually all of the flowers you love in a potted form at any local gardening store. You may pay a bit more than your $5 peony special from Trader Joes, but the ROI = weeks/months of blooming flowers versus days.

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One comment

  1. Gayle

    Thanks LO, lov the Vodka idea. I’ll give it a try even if I have to share the good stuff….

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