Cut flowers are not only a perfect way to commemorate a special occasion, but they can brighten up an ordinary day. Whether you receive them as a gift, purchase them yourself, or grow your own, below are some tips for the best types of cut flowers to get and how to make them last.

 

Ensure Your Flowers are Healthy
You want to ensure that the flowers you purchase have smooth, green stems. The stems should not be slimy as this can indicate they are already dying. You should also check that there are no broken stems or drooping buds. Lastly, ensure that the water they are in smells fresh.

 

Before Placing Them in a Vase
Keep cut flowers in a cool environment until you can get them in water. When you are ready to put them in a vase, first make a fresh cut about an inch or two up the stem and remove any leaves that will be below the water’s surface. After you place them in the water, pour in the packet of flower food (it generally comes with cut flowers).

 

Make Your Flowers Last
Keep your flowers out of direct sunlight, change the water frequently (about every other day), and make a fresh cut each time you change the water. With these three simple tips you will be able to substantially preserve your flowers’ lifespan!

 

Long-Lasting Cut Flowers
Birds of Paradise: These flowers look like colorful birds about to take flight. This is a tropical plant that needs lots of sunshine and warmth. It can be grown outdoors, in frost-free areas or grown indoors as a houseplant. Even indoors, Bird of Paradise needs temperatures around 66.5 F to 70 F and at least 50 F at night. It makes an eye-catching cut flower, although it may need wiring to help support the heavy flowers.

Carnations: These are one of the longest lasting cut flowers. They are also easy to grow from seed and have a wonderful clove-like fragrance. Although they are most commonly thought of as flowering in white, pink and red, they just keep coming out with new varieties and what colors they cannot breed, they simply dye to the shade they want. If you grow your own, you can have cut flowers well into fall.
Heather: Sprays of heather are often used as airy filler, in arrangements, with their long stems of small pink, purple or white flowers.

Lavender: Although it is commonly used dry, it also makes a wonderful fresh cut flower. If you display your fresh lavender without adding water to the vase, it will dry on its own and extend its vase life indefinitely. Lavender’s strong fragrance intensifies as it dries. When displaying in water, remove all leaves below the water level, or they will rot.

Lilies: You can display any type of lily, but the Oriental lilies have the best fragrance. A bouquet of fresh oriental lilies can perfume an entire room. Choose sprays with a few slightly opened lower buds, to prolong the bloom time in the vase. The stamens can drop pollen on anything that comes near them, causing an orange-yellow stain. Remove the stamens by hand, before displaying your lilies.

Roses: These are the classic cut flower, with well over 100 million being sold each year. There are 20,000 varieties of roses, so they never get boring. Long stem roses are favored by the florist industry, but you can grow and cut any type of rose. Spray roses, with multiple blooms on each stem, make quick, charming bouquets. Crushing the end of the stem, before you put it in the vase, will help it take up more water.

Sunflowers: Homegrown sunflowers spend the early part of the summer growing tall and do not generally bloom until later in the season. You can find them almost any time of year at flower shops because they have been imported. The traditional sunflower has bold, yellow flowers, but there are many new hybrids in shades of red and bronze. sunflowers can be top heavy, so use a vase that can support them.