I’d been eyeing it for months. My local grocery store boasted a moderate array of florals right by the entrance, and there was one bouquet, in particular, that caught my eye. For $15, it was massive, filled with baby’s breath, lilies, chrysanthemums, thistle, and plenty of lush, varied greenery. Each week, as I went to buy my groceries, the bouquets (always with some different variation) remained. Each week, I continued to admire them—just from afar.
Finally, on New Year’s Eve, I took the plunge. I inspected three near-identical bouquets and then, placed one in my shopping basket. Then, when I got home, I disassembled the whole thing. What happened next started my year on a particularly joyful note—and began a habit I intend to keep for the rest of the year.
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Here’s the thing about premade bouquets: if you’re strategic, have an artistic streak, and a couple of different vases lying around, you can make them well worth the money. After I cut the plastic off my bouquet, I was shocked at how full the assortment was. Little by little, I separated all the flowers and greens—and then I reassembled them into two totally different bouquets that suited my taste even better than the original.
I’ve joked about wanting to get into floral arranging (I was totally serious), but ultimately, it’s a hobby that comes with steep expenses. Flowers—even when you find deals or get to the flower market early in the morning—can be pricey, and when you’re a total beginner, figuring out pairings can be intimidating. By limiting my own arranging to what I bought in a premade bouquet, I set strict price and material parameters for the creations I would make on my own. And in those tidy guidelines, I felt perfectly free.
Standing in my kitchen, deliberately pairing blooms and greens, I gave myself a solid 10 minutes to express myself creatively in a medium in which I am far from an expert. I opted to experiment with supplied that, no matter what I did, would end up looking at least halfway decent—and when I was done, I had not just one, but two beautiful bouquets.
This year, I’ve decided to repeat this ritual, if not every week, then every two weeks at a minimum. There’s nothing quite like keeping fresh flowers in your home—and when you arrange them lovingly, they feel even more special.
Now, how to keep that bouquet thriving? Below, a few florists with flower-delivery service Floom share their top tips.
1. Keep the Bouquet Away From Heat
“Always avoid direct sunlight and never place your flowers next to radiator, heater, or under an air conditioner,” says Samantha Maranca of @TheMiniRoseCo. Simple enough!
2. Trim Those Stems
“Recut the stems every time you change the water,” advises Migal Upali, floral designer at Your London Florist. You should also be changing your water every day—remember that flowers are living things!
3. Keep Your Vases Clean
A simple rinse isn’t always enough. “Always clean your vases with soap and hot water—or even a bit of bleach to keep any bacteria from forming,” says Darya Majid, brand manager at Flowerboy Project.
4. Get Icy or Hot
The water temperature can make a big difference when it comes to extending floral life span. “For stems like peonies, tulips, dahlias, and other, more heat-sensitive flowers, you should add cold water (even ice cubes) into the vase to ensure the longest life span,” says Maranca. “When switching to woodier stems like hydrangea, lilac, and roses, you can add very warm water.”
5. Opt for Longer-Lasting Picks
“Chrysanthemums, wax flowers, poms and carnations all last for a very long time,” says Majid. “Unique stems like banksias and proteas hold up very well too. And, of course, you can always dry flowers and preserve them that way.” If you want a bouquet that will last endlessly—practically forever—you can embrace the dried flower trend.
More floral ideas: