Don't simply take your flowers home and plop them in a vase. They'll last days longer - even up to a week or more - if you give them a little extra care.

Prepare the Vase

Fill a clean vase with fresh, cool water. Add flower food according to packet directions. Flower food supplies nutrients and chemicals that extend life and kill bacteria. Remove leaves from the bottom of stems so none are underwater. Leaves in water deteriorate causing clogged flower stems.

Cut Stems &ampl; Arrange

Cut at least a half-inch off each stem using a sharp knife or scissors. Cut at an angle so stems touching the container still can draw water. Place the flowers in the vase and arrange as desired.

Change the Water

Every two to three days, remove the flowers from the vase; empty the water; and wash the container in warm, soapy water. Repeat steps 1 and 2 and enjoy your flowers!

Reprinted by permission from Floral Retailing magazine.

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