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How to Make Your Floral Centerpieces Last Longer

How to Make Your Floral Centerpieces Last Longer

Whether you receive flowers from a special person or buy a bouquet to be the focal point of your table, you can extend the life and beauty of your blooms for days longer with a few simple tips!

Step One: Hopefully, the sender of your flowers purchased them from a professional florist. This is a very important step, because expert florists have the freshest flowers possible. Their blooms receive the finest care from a knowledgeable professional. Flowers are placed in coolers, where they stay fresh until they are arranged by the designer and delivered to the customer.

Step Two: As soon as you receive the flowers, add water to their container. This is an important step, because if the water level drops below the base of the stems, they’ll begin to seal up, making it difficult for them to absorb water. You can recut the flowers to ensure that they are drawing as much water as possible.

Step Three: I recommend cutting the stems every three days to reopen the stems for maximum hydration. I also suggest that you rinse out the vase and add fresh water. Bacteria in the water are what kill the flowers — plus, dirty water doesn't look good in a clear glass vase.

These simple steps can add days to your arrangement, extending the beauty in your home or anywhere else.

By Joanne LaVassar, florist on BloomNation and Owner of LaVassar Florists in Seattle, Washington

LaVassar Florists in Seattle, Washington, established in 1968 by Joyce LaVassar, is a family-owned and -operated local business that is now in its fourth generation. Judy, Joanne, Janice, and Jay, Joyce's children, have taken over the business since Joyce's passing in 2010. LaVassar Florists is a multiple-time award-winning florist for their designs in the Northwest Flower and Garden show, winner of Best Booth Design at the Seattle Wedding Show, and was nominated as Best Florist by King 5. LaVassar Florists specializes in wedding floral design, funeral flowers, memorial flowers, and everyday bouquets with no minimum order amounts.

Start by choosing and cleaning your vase. Make sure you grab one that will support your flowers, but also won’t crowd them too tightly. Next, wash your vase with soap and water, then rinse and dry thoroughly. This helps prevent leftover residues or bacteria from transferring to your flowers. As you’ll learn, keeping flowers fresh has a lot to do with keeping them bacteria free.

Cut the bottoms of your flower stems at an angle with sharp scissors under running water or submerged in water. This fresh cut helps the flowers easily absorb the water and preservative (recipe coming up!) You’ll also want to trim away any foliage bel0w the waterline to help prevent bacteria growth. This step keeps your water from getting that murky, moldy look and smell.

If all of that wasn’t reason enough, removing those lower leaves and unbloomed buds helps keep your main bloom fresh longer by redistributing resources, says third-generation florist and owner of Angelone’s Florist, Jess Angelone to Rodale’s Organic Life.

How to Make Roses Last So Much Longer

Watching cut flowers wilt might be the saddest part of floral decor, but if you make sure to purchase them at the right time and snip rose stems regularly you can protect your floral investment to up to a week longer.

That said, purchasing in a bouquet of flowers can be intimidating, especially if you&rsquore not the best with sensitive cut blooms. If you&rsquore worried you&rsquore just going to end up killing all your expensive florals the day after you bring them home, let the experts guide the way. Here, they give their best advice.

Choose the Right Flowers.

If you really want your cut flowers to last a long time, your first bet is picking them correctly. &ldquoThere are some flowers that, in general, are sturdier, and they last longer than others,&rdquo says Samantha Maranca, founder of NYC-based floral company The Mini Rose Co. &ldquoBulb flowers, such as tulips, hyacinth, and narcissus (daffodil) are very heat-sensitive, and therefore go through their life span a bit more quickly than others. A trick for these is adding ice cubes or very cold water, as warm water will hasten their life span. Lilies, ranunculus, orchids, and blooming branches typically last longer than other floral types.&rdquo

It's also good to stick to just one or two types of cut flowers in a single bouquet, like hardy roses, if you know you don&rsquot have the time or patience to deal with the different care requirements of several kinds of blooms. &ldquoI suggest single-stem arrangements, which are just the same stem cut of the same variety of flower, and don&rsquot incorporate any other,&rdquo says Brookelyn Roman of Scotts Flowers in New York City. &ldquoThe reason for this is because these stems actually create their own biome in the water that they feed off of, but it might impact other flowers you bring into the bouquet.&rdquo

And of course, quality is key. &ldquoDrugstore flowers obviously won&rsquot last as long as the flowers you get from a speciality store,&rdquo says Roman. &ldquoLocal is always best as well, since they&rsquoll travel shorter distances to get to you.&rdquo Since flowers die once they&rsquore picked, the shorter the distance traveled, the fresher the flower will be.

Trim the Stems Regularly.

You&rsquove heard it before, but changing your flowers' water really is key for making sure your roses and other cut flowers last as long as they possibly can. &ldquoEvery two to three days is ideal,&rdquo says Maranca. &ldquoEveryone has an old wives' tale about how to make your flowers last, but we find that fresh and ample water does wonders.&rdquo

Another tip is to cut the stems off your flowers every time you change the water&mdashbut there&rsquos a technique to this. &ldquoPreferably, you want to cut your stems under running water (warm, not hot) at an angle, because that will make sure they&rsquore immediately hydrated&mdashkind of like straws,&rdquo says Roman. &ldquoUse a sharp knife as opposed to scissors or a pruner to cut them.&rdquo The 45-degree angle will help the water get more easily absorbed and draw them up the stems, while the sharp cut will further allow more water to seep through.

As tempting as it might be to have your cut flowers by the window so that everyone can see your perfect petals, Maranca cautions against it. &ldquoAlways keep flowers in a cool space, away from direct sunlight, if possible,&rdquo she says. It&rsquos also best to avoid areas of high humidity, as those can affect flower health as well.

Pluck Out Wilting Blooms ASAP.

&ldquoAll your flowers won&rsquot last the same length of time,&rdquo says Roman. This can be due to multiple things, from quality to how easily they&rsquove been absorbing water, but one thing&rsquos for sure: Once your a cut flower has died, you need to remove it from the bouquet as soon as possible. &ldquoWhen a flower dies, it starts to release an odorless, invisible gas called ethelyne that&rsquos actually harmful to living flowers,&rdquo Roman explains. So if you want your other flowers to last, you&rsquod better act quickly.

Another interesting tip? Buy cut flowers that are at the beginning of their blooming cycle. &ldquoJust remember you're dealing with a living thing, so choosing flowers in the right point of development is key to longevity,&rdquo stresses Maranca. &ldquoIf you're having a same-day dinner party, getting flowers that are fully open is perfect. If you want something for your home or office for a full week, selecting flowers that are tighter and in an earlier stage of development might be a better plan.&rdquo Just think about how fun it&rsquoll be to see your flowers slowly bloom every day!

While using just water is a fairly sufficient way to take care of flowers, if you&rsquore really worried, Roman says you can create a solution for them to sit in. &ldquoThe flowers have been removed from their source root, so they need the same kinds of nutrients that they would be getting from their source plant,&rdquo she elaborates. &ldquoSo mostly this means adding sugar, which plants use to photosynthesize. You can buy these solutions or powders from a flower shop: They consist of sugar, citric acid, and a little bit of bleach.&rdquo

Just buy the packet, add a small amount to water, and make sure it&rsquos dissolved&mdashthen, add your cut flowers to the vase. The sugar feeds the plant, the bleach helps to kill bacteria, and the citric acid balances the PH level of the water. Note that this isn&rsquot entirely necessary, though, unless you&rsquore using really delicate blooms.

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3 | DIY Rose Gold Centerpiece

spray painted them with rose gold paint* and wound more of that rose gold and gold wired ribbon* around them.

Even though they were all different shapes, decorating them in the same way makes them look like they belong together.

Finally, I filled some of them with 5 pink roses and a sprig of baby’s breath. And did others with a fake flower arrangement using pink roses and eucalyptus leaves (which I got at Michael’s).


52 Easy DIY Flower Arrangements That'll Instantly Brighten up Any Room

You might not have to leave your own back yard for these fresh, pretty ideas.

On the list of things that make you feel like you have your house (and life!) together, fresh flower arrangements definitely rank in the top five. There&rsquos nothing sweeter than crafting a DIY flower arrangement for your dining room table, guest room night stand, or home office desk. These mason jar flower arrangements and flower crafts for spring are giving us some major inspiration.

Break out your garden gloves and head to the backyard to source some of the best types of flowers you should have in your garden. Or take a walk to one of the best farmers&rsquo markets to stock up on flowers and greenery that are local to your area. Looking for something that&rsquoll last a little longer? These best artificial flowers look so realistic they&rsquoll have all your family and friends fooled!

Our gallery of easy DIY flower arrangements is full of creative ways to display your blooms. Fill a ceramic pitcher with hydrangeas for a stunning spring centerpiece, or place wildflowers into a vintage wood crate for a more rustic look. These DIY floral arrangements even include ideas for repurposing items from around your house like coffee cans, teacups, and perfume bottles for unique displays.

How to Make Your Floral Centerpieces Last Longer - Recipes

I absolutely LOVE sunflowers! My dad always grew huge ones and I buy seeds for my son to grow every year but I have never grown them myself! Thanks for the great tips!

God advice and your shots are just gorgeous! Aren't sunflowers wonderful!! Such happy flowers

Very beautiful flower you've got there! Thank you for these tips that I always seem to forget:)

I say go with the teaspoon bleach and drink the dash of vodka :)

Thanks, I will definitly try, I got plenty os sunflowers this summer

Your sunflowers are so happy and pretty. They really do give a room some "happy," don't they?

The last few years God/the birds planted some random sunflowers in our back veggie garden. None this year - but we used more sf seed in those years when feeding the birds. It was our surprise thank-you reward.

Nature is truly fascinating, isn't it?

Thanks for the good advice! I've always been disappointed in how quickly sunflowers go bad in a vase. That is, if I can cut them before the squirrels get to them!

I love the sunny, happy sunflower. I have some in my kitchen too!! Can't wait for tomorrow!!
xo Kris

I needed this last week. My sunflowers didn't last long at all. But I know now for next time. Thank you so much for sharing. I love sunflowers in my house. This was a great tip for me. Thanks again.

They're beautiful! I've heard most of those tricks but the warm water and the vodka are new to me. I wish I had some sunflowers to cut and bring into my home. They're so bright and happy. :-)

Great tips! I don't think anything is quite as happy as a big ole sunflower! Yours are just gorgeous!

Sunflowers are the best. Just love them! Yours are beautiful!

Gorgeous blooms! I may just have to pin that!

Beautiful! Sunflowers are my favorite ♥ I regret not planting any this year:(

I love sunflowers, and we haven't grown them in a few years. I'll have to remind the Mister that I'd like some in the flower garden next spring.

I LOVE sunflowers!! I have fake/silk ones all over in my TV room and at the door. You have some lovely sunflowers!!

Your sunflowers make me smile. I just bought some fake ones today because I haven't been able to grow them.

Elaine - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sunflowers! Your's are beautiful.

If someone told me they didn't like sunflowers I would have to ask myself, what on earth is wrong with them, lol, what is not to love about these darling sunny and happy flowers! Thanks for the pointers.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

I always have volunteer sunflowers in our garden! Love those little guys. I dry them and use the seeds sometimes for the birds. Did you know you have floating pop up ads now on your blog? A bit annoying.

If only I had sun flowers in my garden. I have not been successful in growing them for years. I have no idea why they don't grow.

I LOVE your happy sunflowers, they brighten up the day for sure :)

Lovely and thanks for the tip. I have similar sunflowers but you have far more than me! :)

Your sunflowers are truly beautiful! I enjoyed your tips about keeping them longer. I have often used the packet provided with cut flowers, but I didn't know the homemade version.

Love sunflowers. Thanks for the tips. xo Laura

My absolute favorite flower. So pretty and great tips as always you have Elaine.

Beautiful Sunflowers, Elaine. I think they are the happiest looking flowers on earth. I will keep your tips in mind for the future. Ann

you have a great blog ^ ^
you want to follow each other?
follow me and let me know with a comment
and follow you too :))

Thanks for sharing the tips. My 5 year old boy loves sunflowers!

I did not know some of these tips, Elaine. These are great! There's a sunflower garden (part of a community farm) about a mile from here, and we were thinking about visiting the weekend farmers' market. If I buy sunflowers, I'll know how to extend their blooms now thanks to this post!

I've had an emotionally challenging week this week. Your linking-up to My Happy List has made me smile today. I had great participation this week! So happy.

20 Picture-Perfect Centerpiece Ideas You Can Do in 5 Minutes

Whittling down all the to-dos on a party planning checklist includes everything from picking up food to setting up conversation area, and while centerpieces aren&rsquot always at the top of the list, they shouldn&rsquot be forgotten completely&mdashespecially for occasions that include a sit-down meal or central table for refreshments. The art of the centerpiece may be all-but forgotten (and overlooked), but these quick ideas can change that.

Whether you&rsquore prepping for a casual weekend brunch or a celebratory soiree, adding some DIY centerpieces to your spread can take the occasion up a notch. Your guests will appreciate that you put a little extra time and effort into the party, and you&rsquoll have a picture-ready piece of décor that sets the tone for the whole event. (You&rsquoll also have earned a few bragging rights.) Best of all, including some centerpiece ideas into your party planning process could revive the habit among those in your circle&mdashbefore you know it, everyone will be putting together simple centerpieces to zhuzh their tables a bit.

Opting for pumpkin centerpieces or other seasonal, simple table decorations is fine, but so is doing something interactive, or creating a centerpiece that works for any season. The key to a simple centerpiece is letting it speak for itself and not getting too hung up on this one (relatively small) component of the party. After all, the purpose of the occasion is to enjoy spending time with other people&mdashfocus on that, and your well-done centerpiece ideas will be a pretty afterthought.

For everything from a backyard party to a graduation celebration, there are centerpieces that suit the occasion. Make sure your centerpiece idea of choice pairs well with your skill set, crafting supplies, and available time, and you&rsquoll have a bit of party décor that shines. When it comes to centerpieces, at least, it&rsquos always an A for effort&mdashthough these fail-proof ideas are sure to shine.

29 Tall Centerpieces That Will Take Your Reception Tables to New Heights

Beautiful floral arrangements are always a major focal point during any wedding reception. If you want to ensure that your centerpieces make a lasting impression on your guests, it's best to go tall. While smaller compote centerpieces are gorgeous in their own right, vertical arrangements are unexpected additions to wedding tables and are a sure way to wow your attendees as soon as they walk into the room. And the best part about these lofty arrangements? They can suit any wedding style.

If you're throwing a traditional event, classic mixes of garden roses, hydrangeas, and peonies will stun in a large glass vase. Searching for the perfect contemporary arrangement? Ask your floral designer to place long-stemmed blooms in a structured, four-pillared vessel. This Il Giardino delle Fate masterpiece is the perfect example of a tall, contemporary centerpiece: Their team styled this high-low arrangement of garden roses and greenery and hung ornaments containing small tea lights for a dreamy feel.

If you're concerned that oversized wedding centerpieces will hinder guests' conversations, don't be. It all comes down to the vessel you choose&mdashand with so many options readily available, you can choose a base that suits both your wedding theme and allows your loved ones to converse freely. From tall glass vases, to thin metal pedestals, attendees will enjoy the beauty of these arrangements and each other's company.

To help you find a tall arrangement style you love, consider some of our favorites from real weddings. Click through to discover how you can incorporate these larger-than-life centerpieces into your own reception décor.

How Interior Designer Charlotte Moss Creates Opulent Centerpieces in a Few Easy Steps

The designer takes House Beautiful along on a trip to the flower market&mdashand shows her arranging secrets.

Charlotte Moss loves flowers. So much so that the interior designer's 11th book, out April 6, is titled, quite simply, Flowers. The book is a delightful chronicle of some of her favorite arrangements, showcased as complements to her award-winning interiors. "Over the last decade I have photographed hundreds of arrangements in and around the house," the designer tells House Beautiful.

At this point in her career, Moss's talent for flower arranging has become nearly as admirable as her talent for interior design. "When you talk about someone having a passion for gardening or flowers, Charlotte Moss is on top of the list," says House Beautiful's Style Director Robert Rufino. "Her eye and passion and interest are unmatched." To see Moss's expertise in action, Rufino joined her for a morning at the flower market, followed by a session arranging flowers in Moss's New York apartment. Here are some of the most valuable takeaways.

Find a good mix

When perusing the flower market, Moss looked for a range of different plants to bring variety in texture, shape, and color to the arrangements. "We looked for a palette of colors that would complement each other, but weren't the same," explains Rufino.

Don't worry about matching

And speaking of that palette&mdashdon't think it has to coordinate perfectly with your interiors. &ldquoSome people think flowers should match the color in a room&mdashthat, to me, is like the kiss of death," reveals Moss. Instead, use your arrangement as a way to bring in additional color!

Layer flowers with greens

For larger arrangements, Moss begins with the greenery (the opposite of how many others might arrange), so that these wider, leafier elements serve as a de-facto floral cage, providing support to the individual blooms she layers in next.

Go for balance&mdashnot symmetry

Don't waste time trying to make your arrangement even. Instead, opt for a variation in size, texture, and height of blooms, resulting in a bouquet that feels balanced (that is to say, you don't want ten flowers to one side and two on another, but two larger elements on one side and three smaller on another works!) but still has elements of surprise and those delightful layers.

Incorporate multiple senses

Your ideal arrangement shouldn't just look good&mdashit should smell and feel good, too! In addition to finding texture, Moss layers in especially fragrant elements to all of her bouquets. "I love jasmine or lavender," she says.

Don't waste any blooms!

Once you've achieved that balance in your centerpiece, don't scrap any extra blossoms! Instead, cut them to varying heights and arrange in small vessels (or even one or two in bud vases) to place in various locations around your home. As Moss says in Flowers, " At home, flowers at my bedside are a must. They are the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see before bedtime, along with a book and a husband, that is." Additionally, she says, "Flowers in the entry vestibule is a great welcome for guests and for the family every day." Moss also sets arrangements on bookshelves, mantels, and in bathrooms.

After all, she says, even the smallest arrangements have an impact: "Flowers bring beauty into our lives, and color, fragrance, and life to our rooms and, in a way, they challenge us to make the most of every day."

Use memories for inspiration

Much of Moss's book has to do with memories evoked by flowers and memories that inspire flower arranging. "I realize in looking back as far as childhood, that flowers have always played an important part," Moss tells House Beautiful. "We all have flower memories. Whether it is your first necklace made from buttercups or your bridal bouquet, the images are joyous and vivid." In arranging your own bouquets, incorporate elements that have a special memory for arrangements that are unique and personal.

Beauty doesn't have to be over-the-top

While Moss's interiors certainly veer high-end, her flowers don't necessarily have to: While amassing the hundreds of photographs in her book, Moss says, "The theme that surfaced was one of simplicity: that it&rsquos not about what flowers and how many, it&rsquos just about having them, whether a single blossom or an overflowing basket."

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This is my top tip for creating realistic faux flower centerpieces and these days it&rsquos easy to do! If you buy your flowers at the dollar store, then you can expect bright and fake spring flowers. Sometimes that&rsquos not necessarily a bad thing if you&rsquore crafting something like this Dollar Tree Spring Wreath. But if you are looking to get flowers that will replace real ones, then go for quality. Below are my very favorite flowers for spring and I have them, so can assure you that they do look real! Tap on the images to learn more.

2. Look At Real Flower Centerpieces

Get out in nature or stalk Google images and Pinterest for real flower centerpieces. Check out wedding blogs, which I find particularly inspirational for learning about realistic faux flower centerpieces. It&rsquos not difficult to copy the fresh florals that they use and translate them to faux!

3. Think Seasonal

For spring you&rsquoll want to look for lilies, hydrangeas, peonies, tulips, lilacs, hyacinths, daffodils and crocus. Can you think of any other spring flowers that might look good in a realistic faux flower centerpiece?

Tips For Creating Your Best Fake Flower Centerpiece

4. Bend Or Trim Your Flowers

Just like with flowers from nature you may need to cut them down to size. I often prefer to bend the stem of faux flowers so that the option is still there to use them in a taller container later on if desired. When cutting the wire stems though, use a good pair of garden shears.

*TIP* &ndash Use plastic grocery bags stuffed into your container to give the fake fl0wers some &ldquoteeth&rdquo to grip on to!

5. Separate Bunches

Some of prettiest faux flowers that you&rsquoll find are bridal bouquets. They come in bunches and if used to create a realistic faux flower centerpiece, separate the stems and arrange them yourself.

6. Use Odd Numbers

One of the basic rules of decorating is to pair in odd numbers. I&rsquom not generally a rule follower, but the rule of 3 creates visual interest.

7. Add Real Greenery

While fake flowers have come a long way in the last few years, I feel that faux greenery generally has not. If at all possible go out and clip some greens from your garden (or the roadside!) Add to your centerpieces and tablescapes and stretch your dollar further.

8. Branches

While you&rsquore clipping the greens, cut some branches in various lengths as well. Branches add not only height, but texture to your realistic faux flower centerpieces

9. Use Water

If you&rsquore using a clear jar or container add some ordinary tap water! To keep the wire of your stems from rusting, paint with clear nail polish first and allow to dry.

10. Containers

Container possibilities are endless and you probably want to think of this first when arranging flowers! Here is a list of ten of our favorite container ideas for both faux and real flower arrangements:

  1. Apothecary Jars
  2. Urns
  3. Vintage Pottery
  4. Dough Bowl
  5. Crock
  6. Tea Pot or Chocolate Pot
  7. Ginger Jar or Temple Jar
  8. Trophy Cup
  9. Basket
  10. Florist Bucket


Some additional container ideas for your realistic faux flower centerpieces:

  • Small Trash Can
  • Old Paint Can
  • Lay Across The Table With NO CONTAINER!

SHOP my favorite SPRING FLOWERS below!


Several of my friends are joining me today, so be sure to visit their inspiring posts below!