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University floriculture expert has tips for keeping the bloom in your Valentine's Day blossoms

Friday, Feb. 13, 2015



MANHATTAN — Want your Valentine's Day flowers from your sweetheart to stay fresher longer? A Kansas State University floriculture expert has some tips.

Kimberly Williams, professor of greenhouse management, says the best way to keep your flowers alive longer is to focus on the "two t's": temperature and treatment.

"These core efforts will give your flowers the most life," Williams said. "Most flower species tend to live three to four times longer if they are stored in environments at 33 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit."

One technique Williams suggests is to place floral arrangements in the refrigerator overnight to keep them cool and then remove them from the refrigerator to enjoy them during the day. This slows plant decline and helps prolong the vase life of the flower, she said.

Treatment means the importance of using floral preservatives in the water of the floral arrangement.

"Floral treatments contain carbohydrates that serve as flower food and acidifying agents that help the cut stem absorb water as well as minimize microbial growth in the vase solution," Williams said, recommending asking the staff at your floral shop if they use floral preservatives.

If you receive a bouquet out of water, Williams said to take the time to dissolve the packet of flower food in water and cut about an inch off of the bottom of the stems before arranging the bouquet in a vase.

Floral species have different vase lives, so consider the species if you're looking for a bouquet that will last longer. Williams said some of the longest-lived flowers are carnations, chrysanthemums and orchids.

Sometimes flowers are dyed in different colors and patterns for Valentine's Day and other holidays. Williams said that when purchasing dyed flowers, keep in mind that the chemicals in the dye reduce the longevity of the flowers.


Kimberly Williams


Kimberly Williams

Written by

Alexandria Moran

At a glance

Kansas State University floriculture expert Kimberly Williams has tips on how to keep your Valentine's Day flowers around a little longer.