5 Tips for Keeping Your Valentine's Day Flowers Alive Even Longer

Keep your flowers lasting longer and fuller with these pro tips.
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Valentine's Day is a magical day (or weekend, this year!), especially if you just got a surprise bouquet of fresh-cut florals from your bae. But if you notice some quick wilting, it's time for emergency floral care. Cameron Hardesty, director of products for UrbanStems, shares her top five tips for keeping flowers thriving long after Valentine's Day ends.

Photo by: UrbanStems

Buy Local

Start with where you buy your flowers; the closer you can get to the day they were cut, the longer they'll last. So try to buy directly from the farm, if possible.

Snip, Snip

As soon as your flowers get home, re-cut them, snipping about half an inch from the bottom of the stems, and put them in fresh water. Re-cut your stems every other day, and change the water to keep them well hydrated.

Eat Up

Add flower food (most florists will include flower food with your order) to the vase. If you don't have any flower food, you can easily make your own.

Homemade Flower Food

  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • splash of bleach

Shade, Baby

Growing plants love light, but cut flowers hate it. Keep your flowers out of direct light — both sunlight and artificial — to keep them looking fresh for longer.

Open Up

But if you have, for instance, two dozen tight roses, and you want to make them look fuller for Valentine's Day, re-cut them and put them in very warm water. Change the water when it cools, and repeat the process until the roses begin to open. Warm water and heat encourage flowers to open, which will make your Valentine's Day flowers even more impressive. Just be sure to re-cut your stems every time you give them fresh water.

10 Top-Notch Flower Arranging Tips

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Get Started

From using pins to secure moss to mixing fruit with flowers, try out these simple tips to create beautiful and lively floral arrangements for your seasonal tablescapes.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Cut Stems at an Angle

Cutting stems at an angle will help the flowers soak up water properly from the vessel.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Strip Away Leaves

While leaves can enhance the intended look of a floral arrangement, they also collect bacteria that can be damaging to the stem and surrounding flowers. When creating an arrangement, strip away leaves to ensure more longevity for the flowers.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions


Many beautiful flowers contain pollen in their stamens which can easily stain fabrics or furniture. Before completing your arrangement, be sure to remove any stainable pollen from the leaves. This is especially common in stargazer lilies which produce a deep rusty red pollen which will quickly damage textiles.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Straight Wire Support

When working with top-heavy flowers, there's a good chance they'€™ll topple over in an arrangement. To keep flowers upright, support their heads with straight wire wrapped around the stems, then secure them along the bottom of the flower'€™s head.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Metal Greening Pins

Sometimes loose, organic materials, such as moss, can add gorgeous color and texture to an arrangement; however, it'€™s not that easy to make these materials sit securely. The trick to keeping moss pieced together randomly is to secure the moss to floral foam with metal greening pins.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Wooden Picks for Fruit

Looking to mix fruit with floral? There'€™s more to creating this look than you might think. In order for fruit to fit securely in an arrangement, you'€™ll need to cut wooden picks to size, insert one end into the fruit and the other into the foam.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Vase in a Vase

Professional florists have been using sliced fruit wheels to decorate clear vases. To create this look, you'll need two square or rectangular vessels slightly varying in width and height. Place the smaller vase inside of the larger one, then fill the space between them with sliced fruit wheels. Once in place, use the inner vase for your main floral.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Soaking Foam

When creating an arrangement that will sit out for more than a day, add a block of floral foam to your vase. Before doing this, soak the foam under running water in the sink, then place it in the vase. Soaking as much water as possible will help support thirsty stems.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Grid It

Ever wonder how florists make single-stemmed roses sit so perfectly together? It's the result of creating a grid with floral tape. Unfurl a spool of floral tape, then create a grid by securing tape on each side of the vessel. With each of the small squares of the grid measuring approximately 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch, insert each single-stem flower for a perfectly unified look.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Unexpected Vases

Anytime you're working with commonplace flowers, such as daisies or carnations, be creative with your vases to add personality and make them unique. A cost-effective option is repurposing a tin can, which simply requires a thorough washing before adding any floral and water.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

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