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Flower Care Instructions: Tips and Tricks From the Experts to Keep Your Flowers Fresher for Longer

Updated: Jun 18

Unlock the secrets to a bouquet that lasts with our expert tips on flower care! Our latest blog post, curated by Iris and Elle’s experienced florists, is a treasure trove of tried and tested advice to keep your blooms looking vibrant and fresh for longer.

Best florist Brisbane - Iris and Elle - same day delivery, weddings and events

When purchasing fresh flowers it is important to keep in mind that they were a living, growing thing that, once cut, has a limited lifespan. With that being said, the florists from Brisbane based studio, Iris and Elle, have put together a list of their best tips for extending the longevity of flowers so you can enjoy your beautiful arrangements as long as possible.

Tip 1: Choose the freshest flowers

The easiest way to ensure you get the longest life possible out of cut flowers is to be selective about only buying fresh flowers.

Choosing where you buy flowers from is the best way to determine whether the flowers are truly fresh or if they are already on their last legs before you get them home.

Elena, co-owner of Iris and Elle explains that they "source the most premium, market-fresh florals and order new stock in daily. It is important to us that our orders are as fresh as possible so that you get the longest life out of your flowers".

Choosing local, season florals also helps to ensure freshness as it cuts out the extra days of travel accounted for in the lifespan of imported flowers and means the flowers are suited to your local climate.

If you are not Brisbane based, find a florist in your city that has the same process of getting fresh flowers in everyday. With flowers, you pay for what you get. Although supermarkets are often more affordable than florists, this is at the expense of having older flowers that haven't been taken care of with the same love florists do. If you are wanting some extra floral brightness on a budget without compromising on freshness, Iris and Elle suggests heading to a florist and picking out individual stems, rather than a made up bouquet or arrangement.

Tip 2: Start with a clean vase

Before transferring your new florals into your favourite vase, make sure it is clean and filled with fresh water. Any sappy residue left over from an old bouquet increases the decay process by causing bacteria in the water, while soapy residue from not properly rinsing a freshly washed vase, shortens the life of the flowers.

Once your vase is clean, top it up with fresh water, until about half full. Flowers particularly love filtered water as opposed to tap water which has chemicals that deteriorate their sensitive stems.

Tip 3: Give your new flowers a trim

If you don't have floristry or gardening scissors, a pair of kitchen scissors works just as well to trim a few centimetres off the bottom of the stems. Bonus points if you cut them at a 45 degree angle to increase the surface area for optimal hydration.

If you've purchased flowers from a grocery store or market always give the bottom of the flowers a refresh with a slight trim before transferring them to a vase. If a florist has put together your bouquet, they will do this step for you, but it is worthwhile giving the stems a slight trim if you've had to travel with the bouquet or it has sat outside after being delivered. Trimming your fresh florals helps maximise their water intake as it prevents the bottom of the stems drying out.

Tip 4: Prune low-lying foliage

Preventing bacteria in the vase water is the most important part of caring for fresh flowers. Any debris that sits in the water, including foliage on the stems, causes bacteria growth.

For this reason it is important to carefully remove any leaves along the stem that will sit below the vase water line.

Tip 5: Keep in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight

Fresh flowers are very sensitive to temperature, particularly harsh sunlight which causes wilting. Displaying your vase in a cool spot away from direct sunlight is the best position for keeping the flowers happy and healthy.

Zahra, founder of Iris and Elle mentioned how this step is particularly important in Brisbane's tropical climate. "There is a common misconception that keeping flowers in air-conditioning is good way to keep flowers cool in the Brisbane heat. Yes, most flowers like to be kept cool but surprisingly, flowers love humidity and unfortunately, air-con is drying. Finding the perfect shady spot that allows your florals access to fresh air without being hit with harsh sun is ideal. If you need your flowers to stay fresh for a specific date or event, we suggest storing them in a fridge set to 8-10°C.

Tip 6: Recut stems on an angle and refresh water every other day

Cut flowers are happiest and healthiest with fresh and clean water and trimmed stems that allow for optimal hydration.

Giving your fresh flowers a little bit of TLC by trimming the stems and changing the water every couple of days is the most effective step in increasing their lifespan. Just like the 3rd tip of giving the flowers a quick trim when you first transfer them to a vase, use a sharp pair of floristry, gardening or kitchen scissors to cut a few centimetres off the bottom of the stems at a 45 degree angle. This removes the part of the stem that begins to decay first and allows the flowers to rehydrate more effectively, keeping them alive for longer. Rinsing and refilling the vase with fresh water after trimming helps to prevent bacteria growth as the flowers start to decay and ensures they are soaking up as much clean and nutrient rich water as possible.

Tip 7: Remove dead flowers and foliage

As your flowers begin to die, you will notice that the foliage begins to drop off first and some flowers have a shorter lifespan than others. Removing any older foliage and pulling out flowers that look more wilted gives the flowers that are still fresh a better chance at lasting longer. You will also notice removing dead flowers and foliage refreshes the overall appearance of the bouquet.

Shop market-fresh flowers for local pick up or delivery within Brisbane, Redcliffe or Gold Coast via

xx Iris & Elle



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