“Flowers are love's truest language.” – Park Benjamin

Giving flowers to your family, friends, or special someone is one of the best ways to express your emotions and feelings. No matter what you are trying to convey, giving them a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers will let them know that they hold a special place in your heart.

Picking a bouquet or basket of fresh flowers for your loved ones can be challenging, especially if you don’t know what flowers to choose for a specific occasion. A birthday party may call for a beautiful bouquet that is colourful, lively, and festive while a proposal or wedding anniversary may call for romantic red roses or elegant yellow tulips to show your undying love. No matter what flowers you choose for any occasion, it’s crucial to ensure that your blooms will last as long as possible.

Read more about buying flowers for special occasions.

So how can you tell if the flowers are fresh and how can you keep those bright bouquets from wilting within a day or two? Let Wild Poppies help you!

How to Tell If Your Flowers are Fresh

Knowing how to buy fresh flowers will guarantee that your purchase will last as long as possible, allowing you to get the most of your money. Before shopping for a beautiful bouquet or gift basket at a florist, you need to pay attention to these important things to help you get the best blossoms possible.

Check the flower petals

To see if the flowers are fresh enough, inspect the petals. Check if there are any brown or black spots because these are tell-tale signs that the blossoms aren't fresh and they're cut the wrong way. Also, check the petals for any discolouration, wilting, or transparency because all of these are signs that the blooms are past their peak freshness. This will also tell you one thing - the florist isn’t professional. So it’s better to look for another shop that can help you get the best from your purchase.

Look at the bulbs

Don’t hesitate to take a good look at the flowers from all sides. For the bulbs, look for the ones that didn’t bloom completely yet. Remember that the tighter the buds, the fresher they are since the flowers will open and blossom later, once they're in the vase. However, if you’re buying the flowers for a party on the same evening, make sure to choose the ones that are in full bloom.

Inspect the stems

One tell-tale sign that a flower bouquet is fresh is if the stems are sturdy and firm. If the stems are broken or bending, the blossoms will wilt much sooner. Additionally, check if the stems are still white and green, and appear to be freshly cut. Stay away from those with ends that are yellowing, browning, or frayed as these are bad signs that the blossoms aren’t fresh.

Check the leaves

Like the petals, the leaves of the flowers should look healthy and green as well. If they are turning into brown, or if the spots along the stem have indications that the leaves are falling off or are wilting --the flowers won’t last long.

How to Check if Your Roses are Fresh

Roses come in different colors, and each one carries a different meaning and message. Red roses mean “I love you!”, white symbolises innocence and purity, and pink delivers the gift of elegance and grace. No matter what you do, don’t send your special someone a bouquet of black roses (which are actually just dark red roses) as it indicates the death of a relationship!

Read more about buying flowers for her.

Touch the petals

To identify if the roses are fresh, just gently run your finger over the petals. If the petals are firm and crisp, buy those bouquets of roses because they are still fresh. However, if they feel soft to the touch, avoid buying them because it means that they are about to wilt.

Squeeze the stem

Squeezing the bottom part of the stems will help you learn if the roses are fresh. If the stem feels firm and taut, then it’s a good indication that the rose is in great condition and the stem is strong enough to support the upper part of the flower for several days. But, if the part you’ve pinched got easily squashed, it means that the rose is old and the stem is weak, so you should avoid this.

Look carefully

Look for roses with colourful and well-formed petals. Check the tips of the petals and ensure that they aren't bruised or turning brown. Keep in mind that roses with intact petals are more attractive and they will stay fresh longer than the bruised ones.

How to Keep Flowers Fresh and Beautiful

Choosing the right blossoms can make a significant difference on how long your bouquet will last, but your flower’s vase life is highly dependent on how it's been taken care of. To make sure that your bouquet is as fresh and as beautiful as possible, check out these tips below:

Clean the stems first

Before placing the flowers in a clean container, make sure to clean the stems to remove the dirt that will make the water slimy. Remove any visibly wilted leaves as well as the lower leaves – this prevents the foliage from rotting in the water. Also, don’t forget to remove the plastic and cellophane wrapping as these will cause the leaves to sweat and start to wilt.

Trim the stems carefully

Flowers rely on water to stay fresh and perky. By cutting the stems of your flowers by at least two centimetres, you can help your blossoms have an easier time getting water to their petals and leaves; thus, prolonging their life.

Use a vase

Put the flowers in a clean container and add fresh water. To keep your flowers fresh and make them last longer, place them in a vase filled with fresh, clean water. Additionally, always use a clean container to reduce the risk of bacteria and other microorganisms from ruining the beauty and vibrancy of your flowers. Select a container with a neck wide enough to easily fit the flower stems. Don’t forget to clean out your vase with soap and water before you place your flowers.

Control the temperature

Your blossoms will stay fresh for days if you keep them in a cool spot in your house. Avoid putting them in a warm room and/or near a sunny window. To keep them cool, you can also store your flowers in the refrigerator overnight and then place them back out on the table during the day.

How to Restore Fading Flowers

You can’t keep your flowers looking fresh forever. But there are ways to help revive fading flowers and keep them healthy and looking fresh much longer.

Re-trim the stems

To restore the health of your blooms, make sure that they are drinking enough water. To do this, recut the stems an inch or two using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.

Use warm water

To open up the stem and ensure that the water is getting absorbed well, use lukewarm water in place of cold. Using warm water helps clear any blocks in the stem that might be preventing it from absorbing moisture.

Use a preservative

To keep your blooms from fading fast, make a natural flower preservative. Add soda (don’t use diet soda or dark soda) to the water to keep the flowers looking fresh. Add a little amount (less than 1/4 teaspoon) of bleach to kill harmful microorganisms. You can also replace the bleach and just use a few drops of vodka to kill the microorganisms as well.

Read more about keeping flowers fresh.

Wrapping up!

There you have it! Always follow these tips to ensure that your blossoms will stay fresh and beautiful for as long as possible.

Whether you're buying a bouquet for your mom, a friend, or special someone, or simply picking fresh flowers for your enjoyment, now you know how to spot fresh ones from those that are fading and dying.

Looking for fresh flowers and beautiful bouquets to give to your friends, family, or special someone? Head on over to our online flower shop or call us on 0800 809 453. Our gorgeous flowers and gift baskets will arrive looking fresh, stunning, and always on time.

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