• Take care when removing any packaging, especially cellophane. This often contains water, which the florist has added to keep the flowers fresh (in which case, you should pierce the packaging and drain the water into a sink).If the flowers are tied, be careful not to cut the tie. They have been especially arranged and are ready to go straight in a vase.
  • Before placing flowers in a clean vase, stems should be trimmed at an angle making a bigger surface for taking up water. It is vital to ensure that your vase is completely clean, as residue from previous displays can harbour bacteria which will block the tiny tubules that carry water up the stems, causing your flowers to wilt. Add flower food supplied.
  • Avoid placing bouquets or arrangements near heaters, direct sunlight, draughts or in over warm rooms. Over heating shortens flower life.
  • Remove fading flowers as they occur, this will also encourage any buds to open as well as stop bacteria developing.
  • If the water in the vase looks cloudy or smells, throw it away and refill the vase with fresh, lukewarm water. Before replacing stems, trim them with a sharp knife or pair of scissors, cutting off approximately 3cm each time to remove any air bubbles that may have built up in the stems’ sensitive network of water-transportation vessels. Continue to add flower food to the water as it contains a biocide which helps to keep bacteria at bay. (Additional sachets may be purchased at florists and nurseries).
  • If given an arrangement in green (Oasis) foam, make sure that the water-retaining foam is wet, you gently pour clean water into the centre and back of the arrangement and the water level is checked daily. These arrangements will not last as long as flowers kept in water though.


Roses should be placed in fresh water and stems trimmed daily to prolong life. Stems should be cut at an angle to allow maximum water consumption. Roses prefer a cooler room and should not be placed near heat, draughts or in a sunny window.