Flowers 101

Cut flower Care Basics



Great floral design starts with gorgeous flowers.

Here’s how to keep your petals looking pretty:

— Beautiful blooms. Select the freshest flowers you can find. Stems should be sturdy, not mushy or squashed.

— Keep it clean.
Clean tools, clean vase, clean water.

— Prep work.
Prepare your flowers for design work by removing leaves and thorns, giving stems a fresh cut, and placing them in clean, cold water. Florists refer to this set of steps as “conditioning” or “processing” flowers.

— Lose the green.
Remove the leaves and thorns from each stem with your hands, clippers, thorn strippers, or floral knife.

— Bacteria = bad news.
Leaves that sit in water can rot, create bacteria, and shorten the vase life of your flowers. Be sure to take off the leaves that might fall under the water line in your vase.

— Stick to the stems.
Avoid bruising or breaking delicate petals by holding the stem of each flower while you work.

— Remove brown or bruised petals. Broken petals and chewed leaves are your calls—if you think they’re beautiful, keep them!

— Slice, not smash.
Keep your clippers, floral knife, or scissors sharpened. A clean cut is key.

— Scalpel, please.
Cut off the bottom inch of each stem. Make the cut on a 45-degree angle. An angled cut increases the surface area at the base of the stem and helps the flower drink more water.

— Hydrate. As soon as you’ve cut the stem, place each flower in fresh water.

— Fresh is best.
For the longest vase life, change the water in your vase daily. Keep your flowers away from heat and sunlight, and enjoy!