It’s the last week of August to pull in all those summer blooms, so I’ve decided to put together a tutorial on how to make your cut flower bouquets last! I have accumulated these tips over the years from my parents, friends and the wise old internet…and I follow them religiously whenever I bring home a bunch of hand cut flowers.
This might seem like a lot of work at first, but once you get used to it the steps fly by. I promise!
Cut Flower Bouquets: 101
- Arm yourself with a small pail of warm water and strong gardening shears (or a sharp knife). Dull or weak scissors can pinch and damage the stem, making it difficult for the plant to uptake water quickly after being cut.
- Venture out into the garden in the evening, preferably after the plants have been watered, this will allow you to avoid wilted or stressed flowers.
- Select flowers that are not yet fully open or mature and cut the stems as long as possible, this will allow you more room to trim them when arranging later.
- Take the time to remove any damaged petals and snip away all the leaves on the stem, except those closest to the top, and immediately place in the pail of water. Repeat until you have the desired size bunch.
- To condition the flowers and get rid of any insects and spiders, tightly cover the pail with a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Prior to arranging the flowers, select a tall vase with a wide mouth and fill with warm water. Add a package of plant food and preservative (available at any floral shop) and stir until completely dissolved.
- Remove the flowers from the refrigerator and prior to removing the plastic bag, gently tap the pail several times to knock all the dead creepy-crawlies into the water.
- Holding the stem under warm running water, trim the end a minimum of 1-2 inches and immediately place in the vase. Repeat for the remaining flowers in the bunch.
- Once perfectly arranged, display the flowers in a cool place, away from intense sunlight and heat.
- To keep the bunch as fresh and happy as possible, top up the water in the vase daily and change the water every couple days. When changing the water completely, be sure to wash the vase, add plant food and preservative and trim the stems again under running water.
As far as tips for arranging, there’s two main parts to a bouquet — the focal point and the accents. You can use leafy branches as the accent or event small, less bold flowers.
My tried and true method for arranging is to have an even number of accent plants and an odd number of flowers. An odd numbered focal point creates the most visually appealing bouquet. But I’ve also been known to do complete floral mash-ups that look amazing and don’t follow any rules. So have fun with it and enjoy the last few bouquets of the summer!
If you have some cut flower bouquet tips you would like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments!