A North Jersey Bride’s Guide to Keeping Flowers Fresh

Flowers play an important part in almost any wedding, whether it’s as centerpieces for the tables, a bouquet for the bride, or decoration for the aisle and altar. Even so, the fragile, temporary nature of cut blossoms can be a cause of stress: what if those carefully chosen floral accents wither before the day is through?

Here are some tried and true ways to ensure that your centerpieces and bouquet look amazing for your ceremony and beyond!

  • If your North Jersey florist is bringing your flowers to you, try to schedule the delivery as close as possible to the ceremony. Florists are professionals when it comes to keeping flowers fresh and your flowers will last much longer if they’re kept in an environment that’s temperature-controlled until they’re needed.
  • Native, in-season flowers are your friends! Flowers will last longer in the climate and season that they’re accustomed to, so keep this in mind when choosing flowers for your wedding. Your florist can provide you with suggestions and recommendations for which species will be best for the season you’ve chosen. Also, remember that small bouquets tend to wilt more slowly than bigger ones.
  • Never touch the blooms with your fingers—this will help you avoid bruising and discoloration on your petals. If you’re concerned about browning, then dark-colored flowers may be right for you. Yellow, pink, and white flowers are very pretty, but they bruise more easily than darker shades.
  • Flowers will last longer in cool environments! There’s nothing like heat to shorten a blossom’s lifespan, so keep them away from sources of heat and out of direct sunlight. If you need to store your floral arrangements, it can help to keep them in a cooler or fridge. Just don’t forget that flowers like a temperature between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit and most refrigerators are kept at around 37 degrees. Another word of warning: if there are any fruits in your fridge, they could cause your flowers to wilt more quickly.
  • When It comes to food for your flowers, it’s best to purchase it directly from your florist, as this food is specifically formulated for preserving plants. If you’d like a more homegrown remedy, many people recommend 7-Up or Sprite for the purpose. Aspirin in water is also said to work. If your florist’s stuff is too expensive, check out Amazon.com for cheaper alternatives.
  • If you intend to keep your flowers in a vase, there are a few helpful tricks. Strip away the leaves from the stems as much as you can before putting them in water. Leaving foliage on the stems can cause bacteria to grow, which will massacre your flowers. For this reason, you should also always make sure the vases are as sterile as possible. In addition, cut the stems of your flowers every time you place them in water: the ends of the stems will heal over when exposed to air and must be opened back up before they can drink. Always use a sharp knife to cut the stems—never scissors—and do so at an angle with the end of the stem submerged to keep air from contacting the cut. Plants can absorb warm or room-temperature water better than cold, so use this to fill your vases.
  • Don’t forget to provide water for your bouquet! Every time you put it down, make sure there’s a vessel of water handy to set it in. During the reception, have water ready at your table in a decorative container where you can leave the bouquet for the duration of the celebration. Every time you put the bouquet in water, be sure to cut off a small section of the stems at an angle so that they can better absorb the liquid. If there’s no container available to put the bouquet in, use a spray bottle to mist the stems as often as you can. It can work wonders!
Posted by Dessa Wideman on 10/13/2014

Category Articles: Floral Preservation