Spring is a time for renewal, a time when buds begin to blossom and the rain softens the soil for new shoots of life to emerge.
With all the excitement of new beginnings in Spring, the basics can sometimes slip our minds, so that is why I am going to share with you 'Peppermint & Peony's Top Tips for Longer Vase Life'.
First thing's first, start with a clean vase / container - any size, any shape. Using just a dash of bleach in tap water, thoroughly clean your vase - using the bleach will help kill off any bacteria which could be harmful to the life of your new flowers! If you see the vase become cloudy, this is a sign of bacterial growth, so give it a good rinse and a thorough clean.
Note: Avoid using metal containers without a liner as they are prone to rust!
This next step may sound ever so obvious, but keep the vase filled with fresh water! Spring flowers tend to have shorter stems, therefore the water level can decrease rather quickly. To keep the water fresher for longer, remove any foliage / leaves from below the water level.
To help prolong the life of the flowers try to avoid 'warm' conditions - keep away from window sills and radiators to help keep a constant temperature.
Ensure that you are well equipped! Using the right tools can make all the difference. I recommend that you use a very sharp pair of kitchen scissors, floral secateurs or a thin bladed knife, to create a clean cut. Steer clear from normal scissors or thicker blades, as these can harm the stems, having an effect on the absorption of water. I would also try to use heavier pruning shears when handling woody stems, such as lilac, willow, blossom and viburnum.
Using twine to keep your arranged flowers together will also help when refilling and refreshing the water and keeping flowers wrapped in paper when you get them home, can really help rehydrate them - it will also help keep the flowers upright!
Anemone - 'Windflower'
Flower meaning: "To forsake."
Anemones are also known to be very thirsty, so keep checking your water level and ensure you refresh the water every couple of days.
Anemone's come in a variety of vibrant colours and strive best in mid-summer light, in a cool climate.
Vase Life: 5-9 days
Blossom and Flowering Branches
Pussy Willow: "Good will and motherhood."
Orange Blossom: "Fertility."
Quince Blossom: "Temptation."
To best care for your blossom and flowering branches, ensure to remove any extra bark from the stems as this will prevent any excess bacteria in the water.
To encourage further growth, snip and trim off any older blossom and leaves as this will aid more energy into the opening of new buds.
Even the smallest of buds will come to life and develop after the old has been cut.
Vase Life: 2 months (with good care!)
Daffodil - 'Narcissus'
Flower meaning: "Rebirth and new beginnings."
The Daffodil - a spring household favourite! All varieties of Daffodil should be cut or bought in bud, showing just a little colour but mainly green, as the buds tend to open up very quickly!
This type of flower is best arranged and displayed in a container of their own, as the sap they release once cut can harm the vase life of other flowers.
If you wish to add them to a display, try and keep them separate for the first 24 hours before adding other flowers.
Vase Life: 3-7 days
Forget Me Nots - 'Myosotis'
Flower meaning: "True love - remember me forever."
Due to the environment of growth, damp conditions are ideal for the forget me not. To recreate this condition, once the stems have been cut, plunge them into deep water.
This will shock the flowers, resulting in the stems hardening. This is also ideal for arranging.
If the stems become limp again, just repeat this process.
Pssst... They also look stunning in a spring bridal boquet!
Vase Life: 5-7 days
Hyacinth - 'Hyacinthus'
Flower meaning: "Remembrance."
Hyacinth are best purchased as a cut flower when the majority of the florets / pips are closed.
Through its cycle of growth, there are many changes that can all be appreciated and these flowers are at their best when arranged all in one single flower type.
The thick fibrous base of a Hyacinth can also become very slimy, this should be regularly checked and cut off to help the water penetrate the stems and reach the pips.
Vase Life: 7-14 days
Iris - 'Fleur-de-lis'
Flower meaning: "I have a message for you."
To enjoy your Iris for the maximum time possible, these flowers should be either cut or purchased in bud, as these flowers open quickly in a warm environment.
Try to buy good sized heads and strong colours, the tips must also be nice and firm. If the heads are dry or browning, there is very little chance that they will open at all.
Vase Life: 3-6 days
Lilac - 'Syringa'
Flower meaning: "First emotions of love."
When purchasing lilac, you will find most of the flowers should be open or starting to open.
A great way to prolong your lilac is by changing the water and cleaning the vase regularly.
To ensure the best response in growth, place your lilacs into warm (but not too hot) water. You can also try this process if your flowers appear to be wilting.
The visual beauty and scent is well worth the up keep and effort.
Vase Life: 10 days
Ranunculus - 'French or Persian Buttercup'
Flower meaning: "You are radiant."
To ensure these stunning flowers have the longevity they deserve, ensure you purchase stems with the outer petals cutting the centre inwardly.
Ranunculus have a hollow and very thin stem, therefore are more prone to breaking. One way I found to prevent this is to create a natural maze to keep the flowers in situ - this also helps create a design. The addition of willow or blossom can also really compliment this spring feature.
These flowers are known to be very thirsty, so ensure you keep the water topped up and fresh for maximum enjoyment.
Vase Life: 7-14 days
Tulips - 'Tulipa'
Flower meaning: "Declaration of true love."
If your tulip stems droop prematurely, cut the stems short and pop them into slightly warmer water. By both cutting the stems and changing the water temperature, this should encourage the water to be absorbed quickly, hopefully reviving the blooms.
Carefully wrap the flowers in old newspaper to form a cone - remember to keep the flowers the same length and place them deep into water, leaving them to absorb for several hours. Once unwrapped, the flowers will be upright again.
Like many other flowers, tulips tend to bend and droop in certain conditions such as, extremes of light and temperature.
Once a tulip is cut from the bulb, unlike others they carry on growing. This results in heavier heads and more quirky directions of growth - personally this is something I love to see, as it makes the humble tulip more unique!
Top tip: When purchasing or cutting your tulip(s), ensure the centre of the flower is clean and pollen free - this will ensure a longer vase life!
Vase Life: 7-14 days
Viburnum - 'Snowball'
Flower meaning: "Care for."
On purchasing your Virburnum, choose stems with flower heads that have a firm shape. I also like to look for a statement lime green colour for ultimate freshness. The heads will also change to a beautiful soft green that turns white with age.
Once home, cut the woody stems with a sharp pair of secateurs to encourage maximum water uptake. The strong long stems provide a perfect maze structure when arranging, which provides a stunning base to an eye-catching piece.
Vase Life: 7-14 days
I hope you have enjoyed my top spring tips for longer vase life and that they help you get the most out of your own creations.
Just remember, when arranging I always say let the flowers do the talking, because natural is key!
Let the natural shape of the flowers and stems take the lead and remember to keep the water fresh and full.
As always, if you have any further questions feel free to get in touch!
Until next time,