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How to Make Flowers Last Longer

There’s a lot of work that goes into preparing a floral design. When it comes to designing a floral arrangement that will last longer, flower conditioning is critical. “Processing” or “conditioning” flowers involves first cutting foliage from stems, then removing dead petals, sanitizing the florals, and regulating the temperature. 

Want to learn more about processing flowers? Floral designers and flower lovers, listen up! Here, we’ll delve into the importance of conditioning floral designs for maximum longevity.

What Is Floral Conditioning and Why Is it Important?

Flower conditioning is a set of steps taken after the flowers have been cut to lengthen their lifetime. Without proper conditioning, your flowers can wilt and die in a matter of days. Flowers are conditioned before arranging them to ensure they last as long as possible.

How To Make Flower Arrangements Last Longer with Conditioning

There are many things you can do to condition your flowers. The most important thing is to store them in a cool dry place in tepid water overnight. Remove all leaves that will fall below the water line in the vase. Keep your flowers out of direct sunlight, and add some flower food to the water.

In the morning, cut the stems at a 45-degree angle. This increases the surface area and helps the flower drink as much water as possible. If your flowers have woody branches, split the bottom of each stem with a 1-inch vertical cut.

Some flowers have special conditioning requirements, including, for example:

  • Daffodils. Put these in their own vase of water before adding them to flower arrangements. Daffodils have toxic sap that can kill other flowers.
  • Hydrangeas. Submerge hydrangeas head-down in a bowl of cold water for an hour, then allow them to drip dry. Place their stems in warm water overnight. Avoid cutting hydrangeas shortly after blooming. Mature hydrangeas condition better and last longer.
  • Thin-stemmed flowers. Bind flowers with thin stems (like tulips) together, then allow them to sit in water for several hours before placing them in an arrangement.
  • Flowers with milky sap. If the flower produces a milky sap (such as twedia), sear the end of the flower with a match. As an alternative, you can also dunk the flower in boiling water for 15 seconds. If the flower has a hollow stem, such as delphinium, place a stick up the stem.
  • Bulbs. If the flower came from a bulb, cut off the white section on the bottom of the stem. The white part of the stem will not absorb water, but the light green part of the stem above it will.

Once you’ve placed your flowers in an arrangement, use a flower preservative to extend the life of your bouquet. You can buy flower preservatives from local floral shops, or you can make your own with this homemade recipe:

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bleach

Benefits of Conditioning Fresh-Cut Flowers

Flowers that you buy from a florist are expertly conditioned to ensure that the bouquet you purchase will last as long as possible. Of course, you can condition your fresh-cut flowers for the following benefits:

  • They will look beautiful for longer.
  • If you’re sending flowers to friends or relatives, they’ll be able to enjoy them for as long as possible.
  • Conditioning flowers prevents premature wilting.
  • You’ll spend less time cutting new flowers for fresh bouquets, and more time enjoying those in existing arrangements.

Contact Our Floral Designers

Conditioning flowers can be naturally complex, especially considering that some flowers are conditioned with one method, and others require different methods. If you’re not familiar with the type of flower you’re trying to condition, then you may not be using the best methods to properly preserve it.

The best way to ensure that you’ll have long-lasting flowers is to work with a professional florist. By ordering flowers from a reputable professional, you can feel confident that your flowers will last as long as possible.

Want a beautiful flower arrangement that will last a long time? Contact our florists in Bedford, NY. At Bedford Village Flower Shoppe, we use a range of techniques to keep flowers in the best condition possible for as long as possible. See our service areas here!

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