These are a few handy hints on how to make sure your flowers stay alive much longer — by avoiding the following situations:
Do not expose flowers strong heat. The cooler the room or location where they are displayed, the longer they will last.
Cold conditions below 4 degrees Celsius
Do not subject your flowers to very low temperatures either. Flowers grown in tropical areas, such as Orchids and Anthuriums, are particularly susceptible to low temperature damage. Never put your flowers in a freezer or anywhere that is below 4 degrees Celsius.
Draughty positions are also unfavourable spots to place your flowers. The petals tend to dry out more quickly in these areas. A corner position is preferable to a hallway or near open doors.
Flowers which are subjected to direct sunlight can easily become overheated, resulting in the drying out of petals and reduced vase life.
Fresh flowers tend to dry out very quickly in air conditioned rooms. This is particularly the case with flowers that have large, exposed petals.
Ripening fruit and vegetables
Perhaps one of the biggest enemies of cut flowers is ethylene gas which is given off by ripening fruit and vegetables. It speeds up the dying process of many flowers. Some of the more sensitive varieties to ethylene gas are Carnations, Roses, Orchids, Lilies, Sweet Williams and Gypsophila.
Crushing or splitting of flower stems
Many people have been led to believe that the crushing or splitting of flower stems is a good way of extending their vase life. Recent tests have shown that this method generally does not work. It actually does damage to the tiny tube-like vessels in the stems, blocking the flow of water up to the flower heads, and leads to a faster discoloration of the vase water.
Other dead flowers
When flowers are arranged in a vase, some of the flower heads will naturally die before others. It is a good idea to remove these heads quickly, because if left on the stems, they not only look unsightly, but will often give off small amounts of ethylene gas, which will diminish the life of any remaining flowers.
Dirty water provides a perfect breeding ground for microscopic bacteria to breed rapidly. These bacteria attach themselves to the stem ends and block the flow of water up to the flower heads. You should always change the vase water regularly or use a good cut flower food which will decrease the rate at which these bacteria breed.
Metal containers can cause reactions with many flower preservatives. This can lead to the preservative being far less effective in solution.