By now at least a few (dozen) of your friends have spammed your Instagram feed with photos of their fresh peonies. Fluffy, full, and probably pink, you may be looking on, sighing and thinking, “I wish I knew how to make flowers last longer, because goddamn, peonies ain’t cheap.”
Yeah. Those puppies are an investment. That’s why we did some digging and came up with a few ways to ensure your beautiful blooms enjoy a nice, long life. You probably already know to trim the stems (on an angle!) and use the flower food that comes wrapped up with most grocery store bouquets, but there are a host of other things you can do to make your beautiful spring blooms last longer than a few sad days.
Read on for a few pro tricks.
1Trim off the leaves at the bottom of the stems
Submerged in water, those leaves will promote bacterial growth — and that’s not great for your blooms. Growth and rot in the water will cause your cut flowers to wilt, droop, and turn brown faster than your bank processes the charge for those pricey peonies, so be sure to prune off any leaves that are below the water line in your vase.
2Change the water regularly
This one’s a no-brainer: Fresh water = less bacterial growth. Less bacteria = longer life for your flowers.
3Toss blooms as they wilt
You know how one or two stems always wilt faster than the rest of the blooms in your bunch? Pull them out of your vase and get rid of them — stat. This won’t necessarily extend the life of the other flowers (though it may reduce bacterial growth in the water) but it will extend the length of time you can display your bouquet, since the dead blooms won’t be there to kill the overall look of your arrangement. Change to a smaller vase (or even a Mason jar, because we all have them) if necessary.
4Add clear soda to the water
Cut flowers need fresh water and sugar to live their best lives, so consider buying a small bottle of clear soda (like 7Up or Sprite) along with your grocery store bouquet and adding 1/4 cup to your vase with water. Be sure to add more soda whenever you change the flowers’ water (don’t worry if it goes flat!).
5Keep your cut flowers away from fresh fruit
Believe it or not, fresh fruit releases ethylene gas as it ripens, and that gas will kill your flowers quickly. So as nice as it is to display cut flowers with a bowl of fruit, avoid the impulse.
6Put your flowers in the fridge overnight
This may be a pain to remember every night as you’re feeding your pets, turning off lights, and going through your skin care routine, but if you want your blooms to last, ProFlowers.com says there’s nothing better than refrigeration for keeping cut flowers alive. So add that to your nightly routine — your peonies will thank you.