Flower experts share their insider DIY tips on choosing the best blooms, keeping flowers fresh, and making beautiful arrangements.
Shop the Foliage
The leaves are a good indicator of the condition of a flower. Bright green, perky leaves signal a fresh bloom. If the leaves are yellow or falling off the stem, keep shopping. One of the things you’ll see in very cheap flowers is that they’ll have their foliage stripped or wrapped in paper so that you can’t see it.
For incredible blooms at bargain prices, try going local. Flowers that don’t have to travel tend to be fresher and last longer. Particularly during the winter, you should use local blooms if you can find them. Inclement weather can result in the delay of flower shipments, meaning that by the time they reach your local flower provider, the blossoms may have been sitting for several days.
Say ‘No’ to the Rose
Sure, roses are beautiful and traditional, but at this time of year, they also tend to be of poor quality and overpriced. You’ll be paying a lot and not getting the best flowers. Instead, try sticking with flowers that tend to be in season, such as tulips or anenomes.
If you can’t stand the idea of a Valentine’s Day sans fresh roses, look for roses with firm, hydrated heads.
Punctuate Budget Blooms with Florist Finds
If you’re looking to save on flowers, buy the bulk of your flowers at, say a wholesale retailer like Costco or Sam’s Club. Then, head to your local florist to pick out just a couple of unique stems to complete the arrangement.
Keep it Simple
If creating your own arrangement seems daunting, Johnson suggests following one key rule: Keep all your flowers within the same color palette. “If you keep flowers in the same color palette, you can use five different kinds of flowers, but the arrangement will still have a kind of unity about it,” she adds. Try pairing several types of cream flowers. Add interest by punctuating the arrangement with bright, chartreuse hypericum berries.
There are many rumored tricks to getting flowers to stay fresher longer. Crary says that while some of these may work (such as adding a touch of Sprite to vase water), the best bet is to ask your retailer how they cared for the blooms and to keep the care consistent. You should also be sure to add food (if it’s included with your bouquet) to your water. Another tip? Keep vases away from extreme temperatures. A cool, but not freezing cold room is the perfect place to keep your blooms happy and healthy.
Clean is Key
The real key to keeping flowers fresh longer? Simply changing the water frequently, says Crary. Use a very clean vase (read: no residual dish soap) and room temperature water to provide the best conditions for most flowers. Change the water at least every other day. If you’re worried about disturbing the flower arrangement, simply hold the vase under the faucet and let the water flush out.
These bulbous blooms are a popular pick, but tend to wilt quickly. But if hydrangeas are one of your favorites, fret not. “The secret to hydrangeas is to keep them tall,” says Crary. This allows the flower to remain hydrated along the length of its stem. Use a tall vase with a narrow opening to play-up the round heads of the flower.
Try Luxe, Velvety Blooms
Rather than gifting your average supermarket bouquet, Johnson suggests creating your own arrangement out of stems with a velvety texture in deep jewel tones. Blooms like ranunculus, anemones, hydrangeas and lisanthia come in lovely shades of deep purple and burgundy. It’s a different play on the traditional red, and it’s really lovely. Who wouldn’t want to get a bouquet like that? It’s so much more original.
Embrace “En Masse”
Perhaps the easiest way to create an arrangement with impact is to present flowers en masse. Any simple flower—even baby’s breath or carnations—looks beautiful this way, says Johnson. The key to this type of arrangement is to use a lot of stems. Use at least thirty stems—at least.
Cool Unconventional Containers
Traditional vases can be pretty, but expensive. Both Johnson and Crary suggest turning to uncoventional containers that can help create a stunning bouquet at a bargain price. Mason jars make for a pretty, rustic display. Or try teapots, teacups or even a gravy boat. Look for objects that are elegant, but different.
Credit : Home & Garden