Extend the life of your farmers market bouquet

Sort stems by flower type

You’ve made it to the market. You’ve browsed all of the colors and textures and scents of those gorgeous farmers market bouquets. You’re strolling out with an armful of beautiful seasonal blooms. Now what?

Take these simple steps to extend the vase life of your bouquet. Read on for detailed information!

Hurry home with your blossoms! Don’t leave them in a hot car. Place the stems in lukewarm water until you are ready to arrange them in a vase.

When you are ready, choose a sparkling clean vase and fill 3/4 full with lukewarm water. Bacteria will shorten the life of your blooms, so be sure to scrub out residue and debris from previous bouquets.

Remove flowers from plastic or paper sleeve and carefully remove rubber band.

Using a sharp clipper, trim at least one inch from each stem. If using a smaller/shorter vase, you can clip off more than one inch.

Important! Remove all leaves and foliage that will be in the water in your vase. Leaves decay underwater, hastening bacterial growth and shortening the life of your blooms.

Most bouquets will include foliage, filler flowers, base flowers, and focal flowers. After trimming stems and leaves, slide the whole bouquet into your vase. Or…it’s fun to sort the stems and create your own arrangement. Play with your flowers!

Begin with foliage (pictured: lemon basil) and filler flowers (pictured: gomphrena). These will serve as the base “architecture” of your bouquet.

Add the larger “base” flowers, which will create the feeling of the bouquet (pictured: red “madame butterfly snapdragons, white zinnias). Rotate the vase as you add stems.

Add focal flowers (the big showy guys.) Pictured here: dahlias.

The same blossoms can look very different, depending upon which vase you choose. This little cutie requires shorter stems, so make deeper cuts. (Be sure to remove foliage in water!)

With even shorter stems, this same bouquet makes an elegant centerpiece in a pedestal bowl. (Pro tip: a strip of chicken wire folded into an “egg” shape holds the stems in this bowl.)

Monitor the water level in your vase and add fresh water daily. Remove spent blossoms along with their stems as needed. Enjoy your farmers market bouquet!