Flowers have always been a big part of my life. I love how fresh flowers can bring so much joy even at the darkest of times and how a beautiful bouquet can bring colour and life to any space. In a way, the fact that they can’t last forever makes them somehow more special.
Strolling down to the farmers market on the weekend to hand select a bunch of freshly cut flowers is a much-loved ritual for many of us. But for some the shine soon fades when they only seem to last a matter of days.
If you want to get the best bang for your buck when forking out for your next bunch of blooms there are certain species that will last the test of time and guaranteed to thrive until the next market day rolls around or, if looked after properly, even longer.
Let’s look at some of the sturdier species that will last a lot longer than some of their more delicate cousins.
Often featured in on-trend native bouquets, proteas originate from South Africa and grow incredibly well in the Australian environment. Part of the reason proteas have recently become so popular is their boldness, strength and resilience. When cared for correctly, proteas can last an average of 14 days – but this can even be extended up to 21 days if you’re super vigilant.
When paid the right attention fresh cut orchids can last around 10-14 days. To ensure maximum longevity, purchase them just as the flowers are opening rather than when they are already in bloom.
The heliconia flower is often found in vibrant tropical arrangements and can last for 10-14 days or more. One variety of heliconia is sometimes referred to as the lobster claw and other favourites are halloween and the hanging varieties. The heliconia flower’s lengthy lifespan is due in part to the thickness of its stem which allows it to retain more water and the clean stem which bacteria is less likely to attach to.
Oriental lilies have always been popular and in more recent years the newly developed Rose Lily variety without the messy pollen. Within an arrangement it is common the lilies will outlive other species it might have accompanied, but there is always the option to remove the other flowers once they have expired and feature the lilies on their own. Lilies can generally last between 10-14 days or longer when cut short, depending on whether or not they have already bloomed when purchased.
ender Loving Care
Here are my tips on how to make your blooms last as long as florally possible.
Most cut flowers prefer filtered sunlight as opposed to direct sunlight. For this reason, it’s important to consider the placement of your flowers. While they might look lovely positioned in front of a large window which catches the afternoon sun, this won’t aid their longevity if its not filtered.
Heating and cooling
Another key aspect to consider when choosing the placement of your flowers is their proximity to heating and cooling. Fresh flowers will not appreciate being kept close to air conditioning or heating vents and these will likely impact lifespan.
Cut stems regularly
While most of us know to cut the stems before we place flowers in water, its recommended cutting the stems every second day. After a day or two, the stems can develop bacteria due to being submerged in water, which means that even when you change the water they are still going to be drinking that bacteria in.
Choose from a reputable retailer
Lastly, I encourage you to buy from a reputable retailer. The condition your flowers may have experienced before they came into your possession can impact their lifespan and if they haven’t been cared for correctly prior to your purchase there unfortunately isn’t a lot you can do to save them. A good florist will supply you with clear instructions on how to care for them and may also offer flower food sachets that help keep the water clean.
About Yvette Timmins
Yvette Timmins is an award winning Australian florist, and the CEO and founder of Bloom College, who is innovating the floristry and wellbeing industries by leveraging technology to educate students on the positive energy of flowers. By combining a range of online and offline workshops, courses and an app, Yvette is taking the floristry, health and wellbeing industries by storm through her unconventional belief that flowers play a pivotal role in the mission towards self-fulfilment.
Launched in March 2013, Bloom College has educated more than 3000 students, held more than 350 workshops, created more than 10,000 floral arrangements, had over 260,000 views on the YouTube channel and had over 1,000 app downloads. A regular speaker at the Melbourne International Flower Show and author of two soon to be published books, Feed Your Soul Flowers and Blooming Business, Yvette is revolutionising the health and wellbeing space through her innovative multi-platform education programs.
With sustainability one of its core values, Bloom College is also the first floristry school to faze out the use of floral foam which toxic non-biodegradable, non-reusable product that is heavily used within the industry.
The Carousel would like to thank Yvette Timmins for this article.