Start your carnations off on the right foot with a quick trim! Find a pair of scissors, kitchen shears or even a sharp kitchen knife and trim at least 1/2" off each stem. Daily stem trims (or as often as you can remember) ensure your stems can get a fresh drink as they age and will help extend their vase life!
Pro Tip: Aim for a 45° angle. This provides more surface area for the flowers to drink from and prevents the stems from sitting flush to the bottom of the vase (where bacteria can build up). Strip your stems of any foliage below the vase water line. This helps keep your vase water (and, in turn, your flowers!) fresher, longer!
Your carnations will need a tall drink of water after their long trip! Just fill the vase with cool tap water and pop the stems in (after you’ve trimmed them of course)!
Pro Tip: Change the vase water daily (or as often as you can possibly remember!). Water changes reduce bacterial growth which will help you to get the best bloom life from your bouquet.
Apple Cider Vinegar & Sugar: Add a teaspoon of ACV and a teaspoon of regular sugar to the water. The vinegar kills the bacteria so your flowers will thrive.
Lemon Juice & Bleach: A teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of sugar and 3 drops of bleach is another solution to keep flowers healthy. Or 1/4 teaspoon of bleach alone per 1 liter of water. Bleach may sound extreme, but it's a part of commercial flower food recipes and helps keep your stems free of bacteria.
Lemon Lime Soda: One part Lemon-Lime Soda (Not Diet- the flowers need the sugar) to 3 parts water. The soda has both the acid and sugar needed for the flowers to live their best life!
Cut flowers need water and nutrients to live their best vase life, so give your blooms a boost by adding the packet of flower food that came with your bouquet to your vase water. The flower food contains sugars (to keep your sunflowers sitting pretty) and bleach (to keep bacteria at bay).
No packet? No problem! Here are some readily available items (that are probably already in your pantry!) that you can use in place of flower food:
Food For Thought!
Help your bouquet live its best life and keep it out of direct sunlight and extreme heat. In fact, both can dramatically shorten its lifespan in the vase. That means that sunny windowsill is off-limits, but three feet (or so!) away is a prime location!
Pro Tip: It’s normal for some blooms to die off sooner than others. Removing any dead flowers will help to keep its vase mates looking fresher longer!