We separate fact from fiction when caring for your petals
We’ve all heard quirky ideas and old wives’ tales of how we should care for our flowers once we get them home. But is there any truth to them? From sunlight to sugar, our in-house flower know-it-all Megan exposes some of the biggest myths (and several truths), so you don’t unknowingly kill your bouquets…
Add sugar: MYTH
You really don’t need to add sugar to your petals. It isn’t a food and only creates bacteria, which will shorten the life of your flowers.
Add lemonade: MYTH
Again, lemonade is filled with sugar, so will just create the same life-shortening bacteria.
Add bleach: MYTH
Bleach damages stems, and if you do use any, you only need a drop. Most people will add too much, so you’re best steering clear of it altogether.
Add Alka-Seltzer/Aspirin: MYTH
Quite simply, this is utter nonsense.
Add flower food: TRUE
Food provided with your flowers is the perfect balance of everything your blooms need, so stick with this rather than any of the ‘homemade’ varieties mentioned above.
That said, still change your water every couple of days, even if you don’t have any more food packets. Your stems are far better off in crystal clear, fresh water without food, than stale water containing flower food. Give them fresh water every two days, a sparkly clean vase, place them somewhere cool, and watch them flourish. See our care guide for more information.
Add a copper penny: MYTH
Although copper does have anti-bacteria properties, the copper in coins is not water soluble, so serves no benefit. Plopping a dirty penny in the water could actually have the opposite affect and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Change the water regularly: TRUE
Fresh, clean, cool water is the best gift for your bouquets. New water every two days is the perfect medicine for your gorgeous floral arrangements. Simple and easy. There’s no need to overcomplicate it.
Bash the stems: MYTH
Please never do this! Bashing your stems doesn’t help water intake like most people think. It actually damages the stem cells, which in turn prevents their ability to draw in the vital water they need to thrive. Simply cut your stems on a sharp angle to give a larger surface area for maximum water absorption.
Remove the leaves on the stems: TRUE
You want to remove any leaves on the stems that will sit below the water line once in the vase, to prevent any naughty bacteria growing. However, leaves do also help water go up the stem, so don’t remove the ones that aren’t sitting in water. These will also add to the design of your bouquet.
Place flowers in sunlight: MYTH
Placing flowers in warm environments and direct sunlight speeds up their opening time. Given you want your blooms to last as long as possible once home, keep your flowers in a cool place. The cooler the better.
That said, if you do want your flowers to flourish in time for an event or dinner party, then yes, do place in sunlight, but only until they’ve opened enough. Then move them to a cooler position.
Avoid placing flowers near fruit: TRUE
This is true! Ripening fruit releases tiny amounts of ethylene gas causing your flowers to age prematurely.