I’ve been buying cut flowers lately and realize that I know a bit about how to keep them at their best for the longest period of time courtesy of my flower farming days.

10 steps:

  1. Shop for the freshest flowers possible, and look for any browning on the petals or leaves, and blooms that are still fairly tight (unless you want them open for a party that day, for example).
  2. Treat flowers like ice cream or fish or anything perishable and get them from the store to your vase immediately, particularly during the hot summer months. No exceptions.  If you’re at a farmers market, make that purchase last.  I used to say that flowers are like chocolate: once they melt, they’re never the same.
  3. If you’re traveling any distance, have the store wrap the bottom of the stems in water, careful to prevent leaking.
  4. Once home, be sure that the vase you’re using is super, super clean. I mean, you’d-be- comfortable-eating-out-of-it kind of clean.
  5. Strip any foliage from the flower stems that could be in the water.
  6. Re-cut the stems on an angle with a sharp pair of (clean and sterile!) garden shears, if you have them. Sharp because you don’t want to unintentionally seal the ends of the flower stems.  On an angle because you want the stems to be able to take up water as efficiently as possible and not rest flat on against the bottom of the vase.
  7. After putting the flowers in a vase, check to make sure there is no foliage in the water. If there is, remove it.
  8. Change the water every day. Yes, really.
  9. Keep the flowers away from ripening fruit. The ethylene gas does a number on them.
  10. Put the flowers in a cool place in your home if possible and out of direct sunlight.


P.S. We are sold out for the Magnificent Leadership® Annual Event on October 19+20 in Raleigh, and I’ve just opened 5 extra seats.  This is an intimate size business leadership event designed for real conversation behind closed doors.  If you want to grab your spot, don’t hesitate.  Go here to read about the program, including who will be speaking on this year’s panel.  If you have questions, drop me a note: sarah@sarah-levitt.com

We’re at a luxury property 10 minutes from the RDU airport with outstanding food, an environment that will relax and rejuvenate you, and attendees from a broad range of industries, allowing us to gain the greatest insight and perspective.

Join us. 
You won’t regret it.