Flower Care 101
We're spilling all of our florist secrets for you to keep your new bouquet looking fresh for as long as possible!
If you think about how long your new flowers have taken to get to you, it’s quite a journey! Our flowers are planted, grown, and harvested by our trusted flower farms. We only get our flowers from vendors who are transparent about who they are and how they operate. If they’re not Canadian or European grown, we strive to purchase from farms certified by Rainforest Alliance, BASC, and Fairtrade. However, we also believe in supporting smaller farms who cannot afford those certifications so we may also purchase from growers who are transparent about their agricultural methods and ethical work environments.
Once the flowers arrive in Montreal, we pick them up (almost) every morning at the markets! After spending some time prepping and cleaning every stem, then arranging them into the perfect bouquet, we send them out to you! Now that they’ve finally reached your door, we want to make sure you get as much time out of these lovely blooms as possible, so we decided to put together a little guide on how to do just that.
Okay, so hands up if you’ve ever grabbed a dusty vase off the top shelf, stuck it under the tap with whatever temperature water that comes out and then plopped your new bouquet inside without a second thought. No judgement! We’ve been there. But in the years leading up to Studio Foliage, we’ve learnt a thing or two about preserving the life of a fresh bouquet. So read along to see how you can keep your fresh, handcrafted flower arrangement alive for as long as possible.
Home sweet home!
By now you’ve received your flowers, if you’re one of our close neighbours you’ve probably received them by hand from one of our staff members, wrapped in brown paper and a silk ribbon. Alternatively, you’ve received them by courrier in a box. Once you’ve unwrapped your flowers, (paused to marvel at their beauty... wonder about how the earth could have produced something so beautiful... ponder the meaning of life) remove the moss from the stems. Instead of plastic water tubes or absorbent foam pads to keep the flowers in water, we use sustainably harvested Sphagnum moss in order to keep stems hydrated.
Prep the vessel
Pick your cutest vase and give it a good cleaning. If it hasn’t been used in a while and you notice it looking a little -uh, not cute- soak it in some hot water and then scrub it with dish soap. Very important that no dish soap is left over however so make sure to rinse, rinse, and rinse again! We don’t want any residue hanging around.
Cleaning your vase may seem obvious but it’s so important to do as this helps get rid of any bacteria that may be introduced to your new flowers. Bacteria is their worst enemy and will cut their life expectancy if the flowers are introduced to traces of dust, soap, bacteria, or any residue from your last flower bouquet. Once the vase is clean, fill it about half to two thirds of the way with cool, clean water. Oh, and you’ll want to repeat this step every day.
Now that you’ve unwrapped your bouquet and gotten your vase ready, it’s time for the real TLC of owning a fresh new bouquet; the trimming. It’s important to snip the ends of your flowers (and we'll say this for the people in the back) EVERY DAY PLEASE! We know it sounds like a commitment, but it kind of is! You’ll thank yourself for it when you see your flowers lasting much longer than they would if you didn’t and your flowers will thank you too! So let’s get into where to begin with daily trimming.
You need your sharpest tool available to you for this and again, make sure you clean it by scrubbing (carefully!) with hot water and dish soap. Rinse well and then wipe it down with a clean cloth. It is important that you are using something sharp because if you were to use a dull knife/trimmer/scissors, you would actually be crushing the openings of the tubes inside the flower’s stems which allows them to drink up the water. Cut each stem individually on an angle, removing approximately half an inch. Make sure that they aren’t too tall for your vase so that they don’t topple over but also leave yourself some room on the stems to be able to trim them down about a centimeter every day.
A little science for ya
These long tubular vessels mentioned above are called xylem, and if they are crushed by a dull blade, it makes their job of uptaking water to the flower very difficult. Think of how when you try to drink through a straw that has cracked or has been blocked. Frustrating, right? Your job is to keep these tubes unblocked so that water can freely flow up to your flower’s blooms, keeping them alive as long as possible. Unfortunately, the blockage of these tubes is eventually unavoidable and even though there has been a lot of research as to why these tubes get blocked, no single definitive conclusion has emerged. However, most of the evidence points to the biggest culprit being pesky bacteria and a slimy excretion from bacteria which clings to the stems and clogs up the open ends. For now we can take these steps to do our best to keep these xylem tubes open and ready to bring water to your blooms.
So to recap, when you have fresh flowers at home, adopt these habits into your daily routine. Trimming them daily just isn’t enough for you to get the longest possible life out of your bouquet. To keep them looking beautiful as long as possible, wash out that vase, take out those sharp clean tools and fill the vase up with that fresh, cool water. Every. Day.
Also, one flower can spread bacteria to another, so make sure you say hasta la vista to any blooms who have perished faster than the others.
We know that having fresh flowers around makes the room around us feel joyful and calm. But how does the room make your flowers feel? Temperatures at the extreme sides of the spectrum are no good for fresh flowers, so keep them away from drafty cold spots in your home like doors or windows, but also keep them a safe distance from direct heat coming from your radiators or fireplace. In the summer windows can also be a source of heat, so be mindful. Find a nice, well circulated area for them. You want to keep them in an environment that is under 20 degrees celsius and over 10 degrees celsius.
When deciding where to display your flowers, keep in mind they don’t like to be in any direct light, natural or artificial.
Very important is to also think about if any animals or babies can reach them because the majority of flowers are toxic to them! If you are concerned about this, you can check out our Pet-Friendly options like Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed, Pink Lemonade, and Make it Snappy!
If you’re someone who has the habit of putting your new bouquets on the kitchen table next to your fruit basket, you may want to move those fruits for now. As fruits ripen, they emit ethylene gas which shortens the life of your bouquet by making them wilt faster! Old flowers also have this effect so make sure to remove them as you see them dissipate.
Speaking of the environment mattering, let’s talk about the BIG environmental issue at hand, and that’s what to do with packaging. Luckily, we’ve tried our best to use the most eco-friendly options when getting your bouquets to you. The moss you first removed from your stems are completely compostable! You can easily recycle the paper/cardboard that you unwrapped from before by removing any plastic tape and shipping labels. The care pamphlet is good to keep on hand for additional info but if you’re no longer in need, that is also recyclable. Even our SF stickers are compostable, and printed with soy ink! The only thing that will need to be thrown in the garbage is the plastic bag. But we encourage you to use it as a garbage bag around your home if you can. Oh! Let's not forget about the pretty ribbon! It’s made from the silk remnants of the Sari industry in India that helps women to earn a decent living. Reuse it on gift wrapping or keep it for yourself and use it to hang your spent flowers to dry.
We have hopes and plans of one day achieving 100% eco-friendly packing, in the meantime we are doing our best to stay innovative while still delivering the best quality of florals to your door.
So now that you have your stems and vessel prepped, your perfect spot found, your materials recycled and even had your science lesson, you can finally put your bouquet in their new home. You can put them in as is by keeping your flowers in their wire tie, but not for more than a day or two!
Whether you bought the flowers for yourself or have received them as a token of appreciation from someone, having a fresh bouquet should be a moment of joy and opportunity for mindfulness. We really encourage you to interact daily with your flowers, not only to trim the stems and change the water, but to rearrange them to reflect you and how you feel. Of course with each spent bloom that you withdraw from the bouquet, you allow your other flowers to breath more, which is key, but this is also a time to refresh yourself as much as it is for your flowers. As you interact with your ever changing bouquet, try to be in the moment as much as possible. Admire the gradient of pigment in each petal, the lush sweet scent of some blooms, even that satisfying snap from the sound of the trimmers. Take that pause for yourself each day and appreciate their simple beauty and smile to yourself. We are certain you’ll feel completely centered and grounded to take on the rest of your day.
It was our pleasure crafting each bouquet, so now the rest is up to you! We hope you enjoy your new flowers!
Some of our favourites for floral care
Author Bio: Izabella Amico
After getting her Bachelor’s in English Literature, her DEC in Fine Art and her certification in Massage Therapy, Bella has been living each day as varied as she can. When she isn’t being a dog mama to her King Cavalier, she’s writing freelance copy, treating her massage clients and working on her own two small companies; a skincare apothecary and an art print shop.