Keep your Valentine's Day flowers looking nice for longer

Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of some flowers this Valentine’s Day, there are some small choices you can make to extend the life of your bouquet.

The first step is picking the right flowers. If possible, skip the local grocery store or supermarket and opt to get your flowers from a local florist. The flowers from local vendors are typically fresher and last longer. Some types of flowers that last the longest are lilies, carnations, zinnias, and chrysanthemums.

When putting the flowers in a vase or some other container, you’ll need to prep the stems. Cut the ends at a 45-degree angle and shear off any leaves that will fall below the waterline in the vase. Then, put the flowers in lukewarm water.

Make sure to keep the flowers out of sunlight where they could wilt and keep them in a cool, dry place. Change out the water at least every 3 days or sooner if the water looks cloudy to help prevent bacterial growth. You can also trim a little more off the stem each time you change the water to reopen pathways for the flowers to absorb the water.

The best way to keep your flowers looking fresh for longer is to keep them in the fridge overnight or while you’re at work. The cold helps to slow the aging process, keeping them looking healthy for more time. Another way to slow the aging of your flowers is to add a fizzy drink like Sprite to the water in the vase. It may sound strange, but the sugars in the drink can help the blooms last longer and even keep them smelling sweeter.

Even if you follow all the tips to keep your flowers looking healthy for as long as possible, all flowers die off eventually. But when the inevitable does happen, what do you do with your floral scraps?

Valentine’s Day can create a lot of waste and can have a negative impact on our environment. Flowers contribute to this waste through plastic packaging, fuel used to get flowers from warmer climates to us here in Michiana, and ending up in landfills when they die off.

The good news is there are a few ways we can help to combat this environmental impact. Composting flowers is a great option to sustainably dispose of your old blooms while also enriching the soil of your other plants.

If you’d like to get creative, you can also preserve your flowers by turning them into your very own homemade art pieces. Drying and pressing flowers is one great method to hold on to your blooms - you can frame them, make bookmarks, and create many other masterpieces with an added sentimental value.

Hanging your flowers can also be a great way to repurpose your bouquet, by hanging the flower upside down in a dry, dark place like a closet, the plant can dry out with gravity helping to pull the petals down, keeping the original shape of your flower. With this method, you could even create a bouquet of dried flowers to keep in your home.

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