Yesterday we had an unprecedented occurrence at Thallo. A recipient of one of our bouquets emailed us to express her dissatisfaction! The horror! You can imagine our dismay. She said that the flowers had arrived wilted and dead and suspected they were Valentine’s leftovers! The flowers were, as far we know, very fresh. I personally delivered them and felt great about passing them on. In fact, we used the same blossoms for an event yesterday and everything was firm, alive and pretty! Although she would not accept a replacement bouquet, the situation has been upsetting… and confusing.
Baffled, we’ve began to deduce possible culprits for that particular bouquet’s sudden demise. What in the world could have happened? In fact, there are many elements in the home environment that can adversely affect the life and longevity of blossoms.
Water is the Essence of Moisture
Keeping your flowers full of fresh, clean water is perhaps the best way to keep them looking fresh. The flowers we buy are very fresh–farm fresh, often– and require a TON of water. Ann and I are always amazed at how much flowers drink overnight. A hydrangea I have on my bedside has slurped-up 4 inches of water over the past 2 days! Its important to remember to add water to bouquets, especially bouquets that are designed in opaque containers (because monitoring the water level is more difficult) or bouquets that were delivered to your home. Water loss in transit is unavoidable, especially when people don’t use turn signals (I speak from experience). If you are a flower lover and have cut blossoms in your home often, invest in a container of flower preservative. Preservative is imperative to keep blossoms fresh longer. Also, be sure no cloudiness or plant matter floating in the water as this could promote the growth of bacteria which can keep a flower from being “ridiculously good looking”.
Something’s in the Air
With the mercury dropping into the low 40′s over the past week, Floridians have been turning up the heat in their homes. Drafts and moving air are one of flowers biggest enemies. Moving air dries out flowers, zapping needed moisture out of their petals and leaves. If a bouquet is placed in the path of an air conditioning vent or ceiling fan and the flowers are in the path of air all night, the length of their vase life will definitely shrink. Avoid placing bouquets in the direct path of an air conditioning vent to keep them looking fresh longer.
An Apple a Day
You know that beautiful bowl of Granny Smiths on your kitchen table? The one that coordinates so nicely with your new bouquet? Well, ripening fruit, which releases tiny amounts of ethylene gas, can age flowers prematurely. Same goes for your refrigerator. Also, avoid putting bouquets in there, as fruits and other organic materials within the fridge can adversely affect your flowers’ vase life. Certain flowers are especially sensitive to ethylene gas, particularly carnations, lilies, freesia and other delicate Spring blossoms.
Too Hot to Handle
Love the way your bouquet looks on top of your television or underneath your decorative lamp? Heat being emitted by your electronic device can hinder make your flower die prematurely. Most flowers prefer temperatures between 65 to 72 degrees and are best displayed away from heat sources like televisions, cable boxes or hanging lamps.
A Cut Above
If you are able to remove your flowers from their vase and give them a fresh cut when changing water, you will notice that the flowers will perk up significantly. The same things that cloud your vase water block the flowers’ stems from hydrating well. A sharp pairing knife or new kitchen shears will do the trick.
To Each (Flower) His Own
Lastly, be mindful of the anatomy of the flowers you’ve received. Is the suspect blossom in your bouquet wilted or is the gentle curve of its stem just part of its unique anatomy? Helebores, one of our favorite flowers in the world, are European blossoms that resemble wild roses. They are naturally curved and almost “droopy” in appearance. That is part of their allure, not a sign of decay. Lisianthus, a more common flower, are another blossom with a flower head that faces down, rather than perks up.
In conclusion, with proper care and mindfulness, you can prolong the life of your flowers and enjoy them in the home. If you are truly dissatisfied with your flowers, call your florist and ask for help. At Thallo, we believe the whole of our company is only as good as our smallest effort. Every little blossom counts.