Warm months bring beautiful blossoms to life. On the other hand, warm months also bring wilt and damage to flowers if they are not cared for properly. Don’t worry, even if you’re getting married surrounded by flowers in 100 degree heat, you can still have fresh, happy flowers! Keeping them fresh throughout the day and into the middle of the night isn’t impossible if you follow a few guidelines.
Flowers are often a huge part of the wedding, from the bouquets to the centerpieces. Most of the time they seem picture perfect but the moment they are cut, something must be done to help them keep that vibrant look. Popular wedding flowers like hydrangeas need more care than flowers like roses (hydrangeas have a lifespan of only three hours out of water even in normal conditions), so you’ll want to research the varieties you want to choose prior to the wedding so you can be familiar with each bloom’s specific needs.
Hydration and Darkness Are Keys to Freshness
One of the best things to do to keep flowers fresh is keep them hydrated and in a cool, dark area until you need them. While you may think that flowers love light, this is only true when they’re growing. Too much light in your storage area will only contribute to your flowers withering faster.
The key to the water is to keep it cool. Cold water will shock the flowers and make them wither faster while hot water will dehydrate them. Warm water actually helps them drink faster getting those quick nutrients to perk right up. If, by chance, your flowers wilt and you are stuck with a crazy high stress level, hydration is still key. Put the wilted flowers in hot water up at about 120 degrees for restoration. This is only in dire circumstances that you can try this trick. Flowers love water so just remember to keep it flowing.
Trim the bottom of the flower stems diagonally upon arrival to bring life to their watering channels, and then place them in a bucket of water. As mentioned previously, make sure you fill buckets with cool water rather than water that’s ice cold. Your water doesn’t need to go any more than six inches over the stems. Any foliage that falls below this water line should be trimmed away as well. There will be separate pieces of foliage if you’re having greenery in your centerpiece or bouquet anyway!
Any sort of direct heat or air will wilt the flowers so do not place your buckets near any location that has a draft or a vent.
At the wedding, keep the buckets or vases in a location close by so you can place your bouquets throughout the day to keep them hydrated as long as possible. You won’t hold the bouquet except during the ceremony and pictures so it’s easy to place it in the vase or bucket between photo sessions. You can even make fresh, new cuts along the bottom of the stems each time for an even brighter blossom in photos.
Feed the Flowers
There are many different ways to “feed” your flowers. If you’ve ever been sent flowers, you know they usually come with that fun packet of flower food. You might laugh at it, but those flowers usually last a few days with their special food. Many florists use a vinegar and sugar solution, so you can DIY it yourself if you would rather not buy a commercial type. Mix apple cider vinegar with sugar to keep the bacterial growth at a minimum so flowers stay fresh throughout the day and night. Make sure to place this in all of your vases or buckets so nothing suffers from neglect.. You can always ask your florist for their advice on the best flower food as well.
Florists often use their own flower preservative, too. You can buy an empty spray bottle and have them fill it for continued freshness throughout the wedding week.
Other Secrets to Success
These tricks may sound crazy, but they actually work! Go buy a lemon-lime soda (do not use varieties with other flavoring or sugar substitutes) at the vending machine and pour about 1/4 cup into each vase of flowers. The acidity and sugar is just what the flowers will need to perk right up. Or try two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to use the magic of acid to up freshness levels.
Hairspray is another florist’s big secret. Just like you style your hair, give the blooms a spritz for a quick refresher.
Vodka can liven up any party, but you might not realize it can liven up your flowers. Pour in a few drops with a teaspoon of sugar to help eliminate bacteria and feed the plants.
Bleach will also help flowers stay fresh longer if you mix about three drops with one teaspoon of sugar in the base. A copper coin will also do the same trick. Copper is a fungicide and will keep away yeast and fungi. All of these tips and tricks seem to keep away bacteria and freshen the blooms at the same time.