The dairy farm life wasn’t for Jennie Love, but after giving that up and moving to Philadelphia she realized that neither was the corporate world. She found her niche in an urban flower farm she started seven years ago where she nurtures, grows and sells flowers to customers while showing them how to keep flowers alive longer once they’ve been cut.
“I wanted to grow something different, unique, profitable and fun,” she said. “More in line with my loves in life.”
She grows more than 200 types of flowers on her two-acre farm and provides flowers for all occasions.
And she’s just one of many flower farmers. More than $374 million worth of cut flowers were sold in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, which means there’s a lot of flowers in homes across the country that need some T.L.C.!
If you’re one of those lucky bouquet recipients, even if you gave the flowers to yourself (you most definitely deserve them!), read on to get Love’s tips on how to keep flowers alive longer for lasting joy.
Store Fresh Flowers Away from the Sun
If you want to keep freshly-cut flowers and bouquets looking pretty for as long as possible, store them in a vase and place them in a cool, dark place inside your home.
“They don’t need to be stored in sun like plants,” Love said. “They’re very perishable, so think of them like a piece of fruit and keep them far away from sun and heat.”
Speaking of fruit, you don’t want to store flowers near fruit bowls or on your kitchen counter near produce. The ethylene gas that fruit omit will make flowers wilt and the petals will drop off, Love said.
Change Vase Water Every Day to Keep Flowers Alive
Grab a clean vase, to avoid bacteria touching the flower stems and causing damage, and make sure to fill it up every day with fresh water.
“Flowers drink a lot of water, so fill the vase three-quarters to all the way full depending on the vase,” said Love.
Your bouquet may come with a powder packet, which will help keep flowers fresh in case you forget to change the water.
“But it’s better to set a reminder in your phone’s calendar to remind you to change the water,” Love added. “You don’t want the water to get full of bacteria.”
Removing any petals or foliage that falls into the vase will also help keep bacteria at bay!
Cut the Stems of Fresh Flowers Every Two Days
To help the flowers get all the water they need to thrive outside their natural dirt habitat, cut the stems before you drop them in a vase, and every two to three days after.
“The bottom of the stems will scab over, so you want to give them a fresh cut every few days,” said Love.
If you don’t cut them, air bubbles that got into the stems during the transport will block nutrients from getting to the bloom, according to Consumer Reports. You should cut a half in to an inch off the bottom of the stem, depending on the original length.
“Even a little bit will help, if they’re short,” Love said.