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Floral Arrangements: Bouquets as Fresh as a Daisy
Although their beauty may be fleeting, flowers always make for a thoughtful gift. Get the most mileage out of this ephemeral token with Groupon’s guide to keeping flowers fresh.
In one respect, florists have a harder job than doctors: although both specialize in keeping things alive, florists work with patients that have been severed from their life source long ago. Because many flowers in the United States come from Ecuador, Colombia, and Costa Rica—places where the sun shines generously throughout the day—a long transportation time can be the first hurdle to freshness. Sprays of roses are generally moved in refrigerated trucks before they’re sent as tokens of affection or apologies for casting John Goodman to play you in a film, and some florists place them in cases cooled to 36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit once they arrive.
Because bacteria can rot a flower or damage its ability to take up water and nutrients, sanitary buckets, vases, and shears are crucial. Florists often use special shears to clip flower stems at an angle (providing a larger surface area with which to absorb water, given there are no roots to do the job) and remove rot-prone lower leaves. Customers can also take these steps at home.
Dissolved flower food can keep water sanitary, balance pH, and provide nutrients, but there is a certain mystery around what exactly should go into the vase. Reader’s Digest has recommended adding everything from aspirin to vodka. Better Homes and Gardens suggests soda or a single penny. But florists and flower buyers are partly at the mercy of their blooms. Some flowers, such as daffodils, peonies, and orchids, have thick petals that retain their shape longer when cut, whereas others, like roses, have delicate blossoms that collapse over the course of a few days or one long game of “she loves me, she loves me not.”