Caring for Gift Flowers

 These gift roses came in pots, another way to give roses. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

These gift roses came in pots, another way to give roses. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Caring for Gift Flowers

If you received gift flowers such as cut roses recently, there are several things you can do to keep them beautiful:

If they came in a vase, put them where you can enjoy them but keep them away from heat vents and sun. Don't place them on top of TVs or near electronic devices that get warm, the heat will shorten the lifespan of your beautiful flowers.

If they were in a box, get a vase and make sure to wash it with hot water and dishwashing detergent, rinse and dry, then fill vase 3/4 full with room temperature water. Add a penny to water to help keep bacteria from growing. I have also used half an aspirin. Most florists also provide floral flood packets. Don't save the packets, use them!

Measure the first stem against the vase you want to put them in and make them taller since you may be cutting them down several times. Cut the bottom of the stems under room temperature water with sharp pruners or a knife, making a 45-degree angle cut so the stem can take up water. The running water helps the stem take up the water; that helps keep the rose stay saturated.

Also remove all leaves that will be submerged in water. 

Add the florist food packet, mix, then add the remaining trimmed roses.

Whether already in a vase or you add the flower to a vase, plan on cleaning the vase, replacing the water with fresh, room-temperate water and making fresh stem cuts every 2 days.

 Peruvian lilies are one, if not the longest lasting, cut flowers currently available. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Peruvian lilies are one, if not the longest lasting, cut flowers currently available. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

If you received carnations, mums and Peruvian lilies, these flowers are longer lasting but also would appreciate fresh water every 2-3 days. Also trim the stems so water can get absorbed and keep the flowers in bloom.

A bouquet of Peruvian lilies I bought around Christmas lasted 9 weeks with a little extra time cutting off the stems and placing them in clean water every few days.

If your gift was a plant, remove the decorative paper immediately and place a tray under the pot to catch water. Check the soil to determine whether it is wet or not. If it is dry, give it room temperature water until the soil is saturated again but not wet.

Read the enclosed care instructions, they will tell you what kind of light conditions your plant needs. Then place the plant in appropriate lighting conditions. Most orchids, for example, like indirect light similar to African violets and English primroses.

Spring bulb gardens prefer full sunlight so the sprouting leaves can collect energy in the bulbs. Once bulb gardens finish blooming, keep watering and allow the leaves to turn yellow. The bulbs can then be planted in your garden for re-blooming after the bulbs have recharged their bulbs.

On a personal note, keep the flowers where you spend the most of your time so you can enjoy them. Even though they may appear beautiful one day, room conditions may change and speed up their fading process so don't take them for granted.

And there is nothing wrong with buying yourself a flower bouquet to brighten a room so go ahead, splurge and enjoy!

Charlotte