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Flower Care: How to Lengthen the Life of Your Arrangement

A little extra care can make a big difference for any size flower arrangement or fresh flower bouquet. Most floral arrangements last 4-7 days or longer, depending on the flowers used and the care they receive.

The Society of American Florists provides these tips for longer-lasting, more vibrant flowers:

  • Keep the vase filled (or floral foam soaked) with water containing a flower food provided by your florist. Flower foods make flowers last longer but it is important to follow the mixing directions on the flower food packet. Most packets are to be mixed with either a pint or a quart of water. Flower foods should not be diluted with more water than is specified on the packet.


  • If the flower food solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely with properly mixed flower food solution. If possible, re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife. Be sure to use a sharp knife or clippers that will not crush the stems. Immediately place the stems into solution.


  • Keep flowers in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit), away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give off heat, which causes flowers to dehydrate.) Most flowers will last longer under cool conditions.


If you purchase loose flowers for your own arrangements you should also consider these tips:

When selecting flowers, look for flowers with upright, firm petals and buds beginning to open. Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are signs of age.

When using woody stems and branches (such as quince, forsythia or lilac), cut the stem with sharp pruning shears. Place them in warm water containing fresh flower food to promote flower opening.
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Flower Color Meanings

When choosing to give flowers, pay attention to the color. You may not realize it, but colors have a significant impact on us. They also give others an insight into us as people and into our own deep feelings and emotions. Understanding these flower color meanings is an important task as after knowing these different flower color meanings you can convey your feelings to the other person with much ease.


White - Purity, Innocence, Perfection, Pious, Heavenly, Sincere Feeling, Hope and Silence
White flowers are gorgeous, unique, and non-traditional. They are perfect for a new relationship or for telling your partner how perfect she/he truly is. These are also the flowers to send when you want her/him to know that your love is pure. Great ideas for white are white roses, lilies or white orchids.


Red - Passion, Love, Admiration, Desire, Courage, Constancy, Youth and Respect
Red is traditionally the color of love and romance. A dozen long-stemmed red roses are the classic romantic gift.


Dark Red - Beauty and Love
This is the perfect color to send to let your partner know how truly beautiful she/he is, while still telling her/him how much you truly love her/him.


White & Red - Unity, Togetherness, Long-lasting Love and Bonding
You can find many flowers that have a combination colors, but one of the more symbolic are those that have shades of white and red (which together make pink). Red and white flowers are a striking combination and they embody all of the feelings and emotions of a true bond.


Pink - Delicate, Romance, Sweetness, Grace, Admiration, Gentle and Gladness
Pink is a feminine color. Whether it's a pink rose or a pink diamond, it's perfect for the sweet, romantic person in your life.


Yellow - Happiness, Friendship, Joy, Enthusiasm, Jealousy, Pride, Success and Luxury
If you want to slow things down, yellow, the color of friendship, is the color to send. It's also better to steer clear of roses, traditionally a romantic flower, in this situation. The exception would be if you are sending them to a current friend who you hope would become more, but you want to take it slow.


Yellow & Red - Falling in love, Start of a new romance
If you want to let someone know that you're falling in love with them, send them these flowers. The yellow symbolizes your current friendship and the red shows that you want things to move towards a relationship.


Orange - Fascination, Warmth, Satisfaction of Attaining Success and Strengthened Love
Orange is a strong, warm color that shows fascination or intrigue. Send orange flowers, or other orange gifts, to the one that really makes you feel warm and happy inside.


Coral - Desire and Love
A warm color that is a shade of love, but more importantly, desire. Send coral roses to your partner to let you that know how much you really want them.


Peach - Wisdom, Gratitude and Appreciation
Peach is a shades of orange and pink that represent both the romance of the pinks and the warmth and gratitude's of the orange shades. They are a perfect color to show your love and appreciation of your partner.


Green - Feeling of Joy and Optimism, Harmony, Fertility and Richness Green is a rich, cool color perfect for the harmonious couple. Give her/him a plant and a note letting them know how truly rich she/he has made your life.

Blue - Stability, Trustworthy, Tranquil
Blue is typically the color of peace and stability. Deep blues tend to be more 'trust' based colors, while lighter blues are signs of peace, quiet, and tranquil (think 'ocean'). If you're a deep, intimate couple, blue flowers are perfect.


Purple/Lavender/Violet - Enchantment, Passion, Noble, Modesty, Humility, Devotion Feminism, Grace, and Elegance
A cooler color perfect for the truly devoted. Send this color to your partner to let her/him know how truly unique she/he is. Because purple is often associated with nobility, it's a perfect color for a long-standing romance.
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