International Flower Delivery Blog

Extending the lifespan of fresh-cut flowers: Part one

One of the Brothers Grimm stories that predated “Beauty and the Beast” begins with a young daughter asking her father to bring her a rose in the winter — and we all know how well that turned out. Let’s not repeat her mistake and ask for the impossible: nobody can guarantee that fresh-cut flowers, even when gifted with sincere best wishes, will stay that way forever, let alone in less-than-ideal conditions. When a florist — even a master florist — composes a bouquet, that’s just the start of its journey, as any floral arrangement also requires correct care and handling! Fortunately, has been in the business long enough to know exactly how to make cut flowers last longer. This article will get you started!

Making cut flowers last longer: the alstroemeria

Making cut flowers last longer: approach every species of flower individually

If dandelions were hard to grow, anyone would be happy to see them in their garden.
Andrew Mason

Any reputable florist who’s worth their price would, first of all, make sure that flowers are brought to their shop as fast as possible, almost immediately after being cut; upon arrival, they are quickly moved into purpose-built refrigerators where they sit in a vase with enough fresh water. This fact alone gives us an idea of a blanket professional approach: flowers should not be exposed to direct sunlight, radiators, or heaters, and water must be changed regularly.

No surprises for you there, probably, but here’s the most important thing: as it turns out, choosing the best approach to caring for something, be it for a woman, for a man, for a cat, or for a flower, will always, first and foremost, depend on the specific individual. So let us go ahead and start looking at those individuals one by one; as we go, we will touch upon the origin of a few popular flower species, and show you some tricks to prolonging their lives.

The gladiolus: this close relative of the iris has spread almost all over the globe, except the coldest places. Its tubers are perfectly edible, and its sharp leaves resemble a sword, hence the name “gladiolus” (meaning “little sword” in Latin) and the alternative name “sword lily.” Probably because of that, it is considered a very masculine flower for a bouquet even today. Caring for the gladiolus in a vase is a pretty standard deal: in addition to changing the water regularly and removing the blossoms as they gradually wilt, make sure to crop the tip of the stem; this will guarantee about a week and a half of enjoying its beauty.

Prolonging the life of flowers: the gladious

There is widespread belief that the alstroemeria is a hybrid of the lily (it’s even called the Peruvian lily) and the orchid, but it is actually a perfectly separate genus native to South America. Like a potato, the plant is tuberiferous, and in some countries, it’s even used to produce starch; but its main value is, of course, in its esthetics. To enjoy alstroemerias in a vase for as long as possible, make sure you remove the wilted blossoms on time, and also add a little vinegar or lemon juice in the pure water: it is extremely good for them.

The eustoma is the ultimate survivor: you can enjoy freshly cut eustomas for at least a week, or even a couple. The Texas bluebell, as it is commonly called, thrives in cool temperatures and needs a daily change of water; also, make sure to refresh the cut of the stem tip from time to time. And that’s all this gorgeous flower requires! It was all the rage not long ago because of its beauty and low maintenance, and it still stands its ground.

Even though the tulip is considered the herald of spring, it is now easily available all year round, which doesn’t take anything away from its beauty, popularity, and that incredibly vivid fragrance of freshness that it brings. The two things we can do to make the Dutch miracle of nature last longer is change the water regularly, and keep it in a relatively cool environment.

Extending lifespan of a bouquet: the tulip

The gerbera daisies, also called Transvaal daisies, are actually natives of the hot African land, but in time, Europeans grew so fond of them that they started to grow them in greenhouses and even at home. In a bouquet, gerberas stand out with their bright colors and have remarkable endurance. To prolong their life after cutting, you need to remove as many leaves as possible from the stem; the stem itself is pretty thick and doesn’t absorb water very well, so you should crop it diagonally in an elongated cut. Change the water in the vase daily, and make sure the stem tips do not reach the bottom.

The freesia is considered to be a particularly delicate flower, usually associated with fragility and innocence; in reality, they put up a pretty good fight in a bouquet: they belong to the iris family, after all, so their viability is endless. Just change the water regularly and keep removing those wilted blossoms; when handled responsibly, the freesia can bring you joy for at least two weeks — or much longer if the buds haven’t blossomed yet.

As you can see, caring for freshly cut flowers is not that complicated, at least when your bouquet only consists of a single species. In our next article, we will show you how to handle floral arrangements with more than one kind of flower, and talk about orchids, calla lilies, phalaenopses, anthuriums, and mimosas.

Enough theory, let’s talk practice:
  • Send your friends and loved ones some alstroemerias, guaranteed to make them happy day after day after day.
  • Bring the sunny cheer of gerbera daisies to your family and colleagues.
  • For a long-term project, send a potted plant — always packaged with detailed care instructions.
  • Share this article on social media, especially if some of your friends are future recipients of your bouquets. It’s less hassle than printing out instructions and tying them to the stems, anyway!

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