A lovely treat for mum this Mother’s Day is a bunch of beautiful blooms. Here’s how to make sure your flower arrangement stays fresh
1. Remove foliage
Always remove all leaves and foliage below the water level of the vase your flowers will live in, says Rebecca Jones from Feel Good With Flowers. By leaving a clean stem it minimises the potential for bacteria to grow in the water, which will cause your flowers to wilt faster.
2. Clean vase
Always clean your vase and remove all traces of past usage before you arrange your flowers. The best way to remove hard stains is to soak overnight in bleach.
3. Water level
Ensure your vase is fresh water 2/3 full or higher with fresh water. This will give all the flower stems enough water to soak up.
4. Cut the stems
Before placing your flowers in the vase, recut 3.5cm off the stems on an angle, says Jones. You’ll have around 10 seconds after you’ve cut the stem before it starts to close up again. The angled cut allows for a greater surface area to absorb water. Make sure you cut the flowers with sharp scissors or a sharp knife to prevent the stem from being crushed, which will hinder its ability to absorb water.
5. Change the water
Change the water and clean the vase every two days (to keep bacteria growth at bay). Don’t forget to re-cut the stems of the flowers each time. Don’t worry about the flowers getting short. As the flowers age, it’s good for the stems to get shorter as it gives the water less of a distance to travel up the stem.
6. Buy seasonal and local
The best way to ensure your flowers stay fresher for longer is to buy seasonal blooms from a local grower. “Local flowers are fresher due to the fact that they aren’t being flown in from other countries,” says Jones. She suggests always and only buying NZ grown flowers. You can find local growers here.
Seasonal NZ grown flowers at the moment include Tulips, Freesias, Proteas, Stock and Lisianthus.
Roses, Chrysanthemums, Gerberas and lilies are NZ grown flowers that are available all year.
7. Flower placement
Once you have finished your arrangement, Jones suggests, placing the flowers in a cool position away from draughts, sunlight and ripening fruit.
Words by: Bea Taylor. Photography by: Feel Good With Flowers