IDEAS & ADVICE
Ready to get the most out of your flowers? Prepare, arrange and maintain your blooms like a pro with our helpful flower care guide, featuring a whole host of clever hints and tips to keep your flowers looking their best, including unpacking bouquets, perfect watering and where to put your new flowers in your home.
Unpacking and unwrapping your flowersWhether you've received a bouquet as a gift or have spoilt yourself with a bunch of flowers on the way home from work, help your beautiful blooms last for as long as possible by unpacking and preparing them correctly. All you'll need is a pair of scissors, a jug of fresh water and a clean work surface. Read our step-by-step instructions for flowers with vases, flowers in gift bags or letterbox flowers, or just take a look at our three handy videos!
Flower bouquets in vasesA bouquet of flowers with a vase is a great gift to give and receive because the vase can be used again and again. Here's how to unpack and arrange yours:1. Carefully remove the bouquet from the wrapped vase. 2. Remove the packet of flower food and put it to one side. 3. Remove and discard the flower water pouch. 4. Trim 2-3cm off the bottom of the stems. 5. Mix the flower food and water in a jug according to packet instructions. 6. Pour the water into the vase, and then add the flowers and arrange.
Flower bouquets in gift bagsA flower bouquet in a gift bag is perfect for any occasion, with a handy pouch of water inside the bag (or box) to keep flowers fresh. Here's what to do when you get home:1. Remove the bouquet and water pouch from the gift box.2. Remove the flower food packet but leave the water pouch attached.3. Mix the flower food and water in a jug according to packet instructions.4. Carefully fill the water pouch to the top.
Letterbox flowersPacked into a compact box, letterbox flowers are a handy way to buy flowers for yourself or a loved one if you're too busy to pop to the shops, and they're really easy to prepare. Here's how:1. Open the cardboard box and carefully unwrap the flowers.2. Mix the flower food and water in a jug according to packet instructions.3. Trim 2-3cm off the bottom of the stems.4. Add the water to a vase and arrange the flowers into your preferred shape.Where to place your flowersFrom sideboards to dining tables, mantelpieces to bookcases, a vase of fresh flowers can brighten up any surface, but did you know where you choose to place your flowers can have a big effect on their lifespan? Remember these rules when thinking about locations in your home:• Keep flowers away from direct sunlight and strong heat sources like radiators as these can cause them to wilt. • Flowers love cooler temperatures but avoid placing your bouquet in a draft (for example, near a back door that's opened frequently) as this can dehydrate flowers.• Never place flowers near a bowl of fruit; some fruits like bananas and apples emit ethylene gas as they ripen, which causes flowers to deteriorate quicker.Houses with children and petsIf you have little ones or pets running around the house, make sure your flowers are placed well out of reach, as some flowers can stain and others can be harmful to animals. Lilies fall into both of these categories, with pollen-covered stamens that can be toxic to cats and dogs and can mark clothes or skin if you brush past them. To make your bouquet safer, pop on a pair of disposable gloves, carefully cut the stamen out of each lily and discard them with your garden waste.
How to make your flowers last longerOnce you've unpacked your flowers and found the perfect place to display them, you can sit back and enjoy. But how to make your flowers last longer? Read on for our easy hints and tips.Before you get homeReceived flowers at work, or bought a bunch of flowers while you're out and about? Try to get your flowers into water as soon as possible, and avoid leaving them in hot places like on the back of a car seat during a warm day. If you are gifting a bouquet of flowers yourself, keep them in a bucket of water right until you deliver them or ask for them to be wrapped with a water pouch by your florist.Cutting fresh flowersIf you can, use a sharp knife to trim flowers rather than scissors, as scissors can often crush delicate stems. Make your cut at an angle to increase the surface area that can absorb water.Arranging flowers Florists often secure their arrangement into place with an elastic band around the stems, so if you're happy with how your flowers look, leave it on. If you decide to arrange the flowers yourself, start by choosing a vase with a wider opening to give each stem enough room to open and bloom. Letterbox flowers are often sent when they are in bud to take up less space in the compact packaging and are designed to bloom over time, so take this into account when thinking about the size and shape of your vase. Figure out where you want the water line to be in your vase, and then make sure you remove all foliage that would fall under this line; rotting leaves or petals can add bacteria to the water which is then absorbed by the whole bouquet. Handle each flower (particularly the heads) with care as they can mark or bruise easily, and avoid moving flowers once they are placed in the vase to minimise damage.Watering flowersFresh flowers are very thirsty, so keeping making sure they've got enough clean water at all times is a simple and effective way of helping them to last longer. Check regularly that all the stems are fully submerged and aim to keep your vase at least three-quarters full at all times, changing the water completely every second day or when the water starts to look cloudy. If you completely empty the vase, make sure you clean it thoroughly to remove any bacteria and then rinse well to avoid leaving any residue from household soaps or products. Most flowers will happily accept extra water, but if you have a fresh orchid, be careful not to over-water, as this can cause the roots to rot. To make sure you're giving your orchid the right amount of moisture, simply place an ice cube on or near the roots and allow it to melt gently. Repeat when the roots look dry.Looking for other ways to update your home? Take a look at our collection of home buying guides, styling tips and how-to guides on Edited.
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