How to keep flowers fresh and looking their best

Studies have shown that fresh flowers in your office or home can:

  • Improve your general wellbeing
  • Increase happiness and energy levels
  • Raise productivity at work
  • Improve concentration levels and creativity
  • Boost your mood
  • Reduce stress levels and anxiety

In addition to the many benefits of having a display of fresh corporate flowers at reception, on your desk or in the boardroom, a vase of fresh flowers can brighten up a room, they smell great and look beautiful. The only problem is they only last for so long, so how do you keep flowers fresh for longer? Don't sweat it! We’ve put together a few tips to help you prolong the life of your flowers. Here are our best tips on how to keep your cut flowers fresh.

1. Get them delivered first thing in the morning

Get it delivered first thing in the morning, so they’re looking their best when your office opens. If your business is open from Monday to Friday, make sure your flowers are delivered first thing Monday morning to energise staff and clients when they walk into your reception.

fresh corporate flowers for the office

2. Clean your vase

If you want your fresh flowers to last for days, make sure your vase is clean! Bacteria can grow at amazing rates and they can live on for months even in a dry vase. It’s important to clean your vase properly before adding the flowers, otherwise the micro-organisms will kill your flowers faster.

The best way to clean your vase is with warm water and washing detergent. Scrub the inside, rinse it thoroughly and dry it before putting new flowers into the vase.

3. Fresh water

Replace the water every second day to keep it clean, fresh and healthy. Otherwise, micro-organisms will form and grow, and reduce the lifespan of your office flowers. Just as we need clean, sanitary water to stay healthy, so do your flowers if you want them to last for days.

keep your corporate flowers fresh longer - change water

4. Remove wilted petals

As flowers start to die, they emit a gas that can cause the rest of your flowers to wilt. Removing any wilted petals or leaves as they appear will help ensure your flowers last a little longer. The same goes for any plants you may have around the office.

5. Trim and treat the stems

Cut 2 cm off the stems each time you change the water to ensure the flowers can soak up as much water as possible, thus prolonging their lifespan.

Immediately after cutting the flowers, put the stems in a container of hot water (just over 40 degrees Celsius) and keep them sitting in a cool location for an hour or two. The hot water molecules move faster up the stem than cold water. The combination of these effects can provide the flowers with a huge increase in the amount of water it consumes, increasing the flower’s lifespan.

6. Keep it cool

You might be tempted to put your vase of flowers near a windowsill, but this will only dry them out. Don’t put them near a heat source, or directly in the sun all day. This will only shorten their life span.

Your flowers will last longer in the office if:

  • They are kept away from an air conditioning vent or fan – this will only dry them out
  • They are kept in a lit room with plenty of indirect sunlight
  • Keep it away from direct sunlight and appliances such as TVs, computers or lamps – the heat will dehydrate the flowers

7. Keep it away from fruit

You might be inclined to create a decorative arrangement with fruit and flowers, but it’s best to keep them apart. Some fruit, such as kiwi fruit, apples and bananas give off ethylene gas that will cause your beautiful flowers to wilt, brown and die more quickly.

keep your flowers away from fruit to keep them fresh longer

8. Not using a vase? Use floral foam!

Some florists may use a floral foam to secure flowers in place. If your floral arrangement uses a floral foam, you can still prolong the life of your flowers by topping up the water on a daily basis.

Touch the foam with your fingers, and if it’s dry, slowly pour fresh water onto the foam. The foam will absorb the water. Don’t pour water too quickly, otherwise the foam won’t be able to absorb it fast enough, resulting in water spilling over the base and making a mess on your table.

9. Apple cider vinegar

Not only is it good for you, it’s good for your flowers too. There are several methods to utalise ACV for your flowers, but an easy method is mixing 2 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and sugar with the vase water before adding your flowers. Vinegar has strong anti-bacterial properties that will stop germs from growing in your vase.

keep your office flowers fresher longer with apple cider vinegar

10. DIY flower preservative

Make your own preservative to keep your flowers looking their best! Simply dissolve 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per litre of warm water. When you fill the vase, ensure 7 - 10 centimeters of your cut stems are covered by the prepped water. The sugar nourishes the plant, while the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth.

Other unusual tips and tricks

  • Use Lemonade or Seven-Up to keep your cut flowers fresh longer. The high sugar content in the soft drink acts as flower food and keeps the flowers nourished
  • Crush an aspirin and dissolve it in the water before adding your flowers to the vase – this will help keep the water clean and bacteria-free
  • Add ¼ of a teaspoon of bleach for every litre of water to keep it bacteria-free and clear. Provide flower food by adding a teaspoon of sugar to the water to provide nutrients and extend the lifespan of the flowers
vase with yellow flower

Fresh corporate flowers for the office

There are many positive benefits to having flowers in the workplace or home, so give your flowers a little TLC to keep them looking fresh and lasting longer.

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