Photography: Bonnie Kittle
Flowers speak the language of love. It's no surprise that the tradition of gifting flowers on Valentine's day has remained alive for centuries. Fresh flowers, however, are such a fragile beauty - some if not most are sensitive to our tropical heat. Luckily, Felicia Apriliani from Flores de Felice has great simple tips on how to keep your flowers fresh longer:
Choose the right vase
First, examine your bouquet and look at the opening of the vases you have. Make sure that the opening is neither too wide or too narrow as it may change the shape of the arrangement. Choosing the right height of the vase is essential. With short vase, you might have to cut the stems longer than necessary, and as a result, it reduces their lifespan. For flowers that tend to droop from the stems, such as tulips or gerberas, a tall and straight vase is able to make it stand up straight.
Change the water daily
Pick up a thoroughly cleaned vase and fill it with room-temperatured water. If the florist provides you with a pack of flower food, mix it with the water, then follow the instructions. Water is essential in keeping your flowers hydrated, especially for some flowers which are often 'thirsty' such as hydrangeas. It is recommended to change the water daily to prevent bacteria growing on the stems that are submerged.
Cut the stems regularly
Before inserting the flowers into a vase, remove all foliages that may be submerged in the water as it can increase bacterial growth. Using sharp shears or scissors, cut stems diagonally as the wider angle creates better water intake. Re-trim the flowers once every few days.
Flowers will generally last longer in a colder temperature. Nowadays, flowers are imported from all over the world, and some, such as tulips or anemones, may not withstand the heat of the tropics. Put your flowers in a cool area inside the house, and away from direct sunlight and ripening fruits. Do not overdo this by blasting the air conditioner or the fan though, as it may dehydrate the flowers and cause the petals to wilt.
Do it yourself
If you like to explore by yourselves, receiving a bouquet of flowers might be the perfect opportunity to get creative. You could deconstruct the bouquet and convert it into two or more smaller arrangements which you can spread around the house. Or, if you'd rather keep the arrangement intact, why not try drying it and turn it into an everlasting keepsake? Hang the bouquet upside down in a cool area away from sunlight and keep it there for two to three weeks, and voila, you have yourself a beautiful set of dried flowers.
That's all five tips on how to take care of your Valentine's Day flowers, so you can always enjoy the natural freshness and the fragrance inside your space longer. Enjoy your Valentine's Day with your loved ones!