It's ironic that I am writing this post. My husband constantly teases me about my inability to maintain plant life. Let's just say that I do not have a green thumb. However, please keep in mind that the "love fern" he gave me for Valentine's Day in 2006 is still alive and kicking 4 years later despite my negligence. (Yes, he did give me a plant for Valentine's Day. He claims "it lasts longer". Touche.)In anticipation of the many, many flowers (or plants) that will be purchased this Sunday, I would like to provide a few flower preservation tips so that you can enjoy their beauty longer. These are not tips from personal experience. Rather, they are the result of approximately an hour of internet research.
 Cut the stem at a diagonal to make "drinking" easier. Be sure to use sharp scissors!
 Remove excess foliage from the stem.
 Place flowers in water as soon as possible.
 Use warm water. Apparently, flowers more readily take up warm water than cold. Interesting.
 Fill vase only 1/3 to 1/2 way. Flowers only take in water from the bottom. Otherwise, leaves and other foliage will rot and contaminate the water. This will cause bacteria to kill off the flowers more quickly. (YUCK!)
 Don't overcrowd. Allowing flowers at least five hours of "drinking time" without overcrowding them is called conditioning. Arranged conditioned flowers last almost twice as long.
 Use a flower preservative to keep the water bacteria-free. Don't have a preservative? A capful of household bleach will do the trick!
 If you don't use a preservative, water should be changed daily and stems trimmed as well.
 If you do use a preservative, stems will not need to be trimmed ever and water needs to be changed twice a week.
 Placing your arrangement near a fruit bowl, television, or sunlight will cause them to wilt faster.
Did I miss something? Please share your tips for arranging or preserving flowers below!
Have a great Thursday!
[all images from my favorite Atlanta florist, Carithers]