It’s so sweet when a loved one brings you flowers for Mother’s Day. The smell of a fresh bouquet and those bright splotches of color on your kitchen table are enough to brighten up anyone’s dull mood. But when the flowers only last a day or two, it tends to put a damper on things. Why do cut flowers brown and sag after just 48 hours? According to one TikTok influencer and florist, Idalina, it’s because we’ve been tending to them all wrong. Below, we share her tips for making sure your beautiful bouquets last three weeks — or more.
1) Don’t use the flower food packet.
“This is the biggest scam in the flower industry,” Idalina says in her video. “The only reason you should be using this is to open your flowers [if they are closed]. It does not maintain your flowers, it kills them — especially if you’re using the whole packet.” If you still believe in the food packet and want to use it, make sure you only use a pinch. Follow the instructions for optimal results.
2) Add only a few inches of water.
According to Adilina, the most water any vase should have is five inches, max. Beyond that, you will drown the stems and make it hard for the plant to get oxygen. Here’s how many inches Adilina recommends for certain flowers:
- Callas: one to two inches
- Tulips: one to two inches
- Sunflowers: two inches
- Most other flowers: five inches; this includes roses and hydrangeas
4) Change the water every two to three days for most bouquets.
When stems sit in water, they are more likely to harbor bacteria and gunk, which cause flowers to rapidly deteriorate. To solve this, Adilina recommends changing the water every two to three days for most plants. Delicate flowers, particularly sunflowers and hydrangeas, need to have their water changed daily. If you’re in doubt and have a bouquet with many different florals, change the water daily.
3) Cut the stems every time you change the water.
Though changing the water frequently does a lot to help your flowers last, the way to ensure your flowers last weeks is to cut the stems each time you do a water change. The ends of stems tend to dry out, brown, and die when left in water for too long, making it hard for the rest of the plant to absorb water. So, keeping the ends fresh by cutting them helps the flower petals stay plump.
5) Spritz the top of delicate florals two to three times daily.
Sometimes, water at the bottom of the vase isn’t enough to help re-hydrate delicate petals at the top of the plant. For this reason, Adilina recommends you spritz florals like sunflowers and hydrangeas two to three times per day. That might sound like a lot of maintenance, but if you keep a sprayer nearby and spritz the flowers when you see them, you may find it easier to do so.
How long can you expect your florals to last?
Though most online sources state that cut flowers last a week, max, Adilina argues that many can last two weeks or more with proper care. Roses, sunflowers, and hydrangeas can last up to two weeks, calla lilies can last three weeks, and hydrangeas can last one month if you remember to change the water frequently, trim the stems, and spritz the tops. With any luck, you’ll keep those Mother’s Day florals thriving for much longer than you thought.