A loved one has delivered a gorgeous bouquet into your possession, wrapped in crinkly cellophane and romantic bows, or perhaps tastefully arranged in a basket or vase. In order to preserve this gift as long as possible, use the following tips:

For all deliveries

• Keep your flowers away from drafts, direct sunlight, or extreme temperatures, which can cause the blooms to wilt or mold. Also, most blooms last longer in cool environments.

• Keep them away from ethylene gas, usually found in the form of cigarette smoke or ripening fruit. This can kill your flowers.

• Once transferred to a vase, or if it arrived in a vase, keep the water fresh and full. Water allowed to become low and stagnant can mold and become odorous.

• Always clip off dead petals and remove dying blooms.

For flowers delivered in cellophane

• Firstly, remove the packaging. Be sure to do this outdoors or over the sink, as most plants have water holders on the stems. 

• Trim the stems, about one half inch, at an angle. This allows the flowers to absorb water more naturally.

• Choose a clean, dry vase that is tall enough to support the flower stems, but not tall enough to submerse any petals or blooms. If there are only a few low-growing petals you may remove them to prevent rotting in the vase.

• Fill the vase about three-fourths with clean tap water, and add your choice of flower food (Tulips require about half as much water). Be sure to follow the instructions precisely to avoid overfeeding.

For flowers delivered in an arrangement

• Remove any surrounding packaging, such as cellophane around the vase. Be aware that bacteria can sprout in moist areas, such as the space between an actual container and a decorative container, like a basket.

• As always, work outdoors or over the sink in case of spillage.

• Keep the vase filled three-fourths with clean water. Add plant food as per instructions.

• Keep a coaster, towel, or placemat beneath the vase to prevent damaging furniture or surfaces from spilling or moisture.

• Clip off any dying petals or blossoms, remove any dead plants.


• Protect non-hardy plants from chilling or frost, such as near air conditioning or windows.

• Use care – certain pollens will stain skin and clothing. Avoid contact with the stamen. If you should get pollen on your clothing, use tape to remove rather than rubbing into the fabric.

• Keep out of reach of children and pets – most displays are not edible!

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