Because these beauties are sensitive to fluoride, which is commonly added to tap water in many communities, use bottled water to gain the longest life from them.

Remove any foliage that will be underwater once you place the stems in your container. Leaves decay when underwater and cause stems to clog, which restricts the uptake of water.

Trim 2 to 3 inches off the bottom of each stem using a floral knife. Cut underwater to increase flower life. Trim at an angle to keep the stem’s base from resting on the bottom of the vase, which impedes water uptake.

Add floral food according to package directions. Arrange your flowers and place them in a cool spot away from drafts or sunlight. Each day, add warm water as needed and remove dying blooms. Every four to five days, cut off another 2 to 3 inches from flower stems. Then wash the vase; refill with fresh, warm water; add floral food; and replace flowers.

Reprinted by permission from Floral Retailing magazine.

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