Flowers are a beautiful gift that brighten up anyone’s day. From birthdays to weddings, for thankyous and funerals, they are gifts given in celebration, in the hope of someone getting well, and also for those who are mourning. Flowers are often used as part of sacred rituals, and for elaborate table and wedding decorations.

There is something wonderful about the beauty of flowers. They are a unique gift that make anyone smile. Their radiance and fragrance naturally lift a room, and they seem to encourage relaxation and peace in the home.

Although they are a transient gift in that they do wither after a period of time, by choosing flowers that last well once cut you can extend their life by days or even weeks.

One to three weeks is the typical length of time that cut flowers will last, and each species of flower has its own lifespan once cut. If you are looking for a flower that will last a long time, you may wish to consider the following:

  • What is in season?
  • Ask your local gardener what is lasting the best in your area at the moment.
  • Try to buy locally.
  • Find a florist whose advice you trust.
  • Ask when your provider buys new flowers each week, and when they were cut by the grower.

Chrysanthemums - Chrysanthemums last 25-30 days when cut. Try to get flowers with the longest stems, as you will be able to trim the stem regularly without the flowers becoming too short and appearing stumpy.

Carnation: Carnations tend to last 14-21 days. We recommend that you remove the leaves as they wilt to keep the flowers looking fresh. With so many colours to choose from, these are a popular choice.

Orchids: Orchids also last 14-21 days. You need to trim their stems and change the water every day or at least every second day to keep them looking fresh. The benefit of orchids is that they are both unique and have a long life-span.

Gladiolus: Gladioli only last for up to 10 days, but thanks to their lively colours and interesting funnel shape they are still a popular choice to use in a flower arrangement. These are an ideal gift when you want to share something a little different.

Rose: Roses are one of the most popular flowers to gift someone, but they also have one of the shortest life space of just 7-10 days. Ideally, you should cut the stem of the rose underwater as the rose stem will create a bubble that you want filled with water not air. Pick roses that have tight buds, and they will unfold over the days as they open. These are commonly known as the flowers of love, though each colour has been attributed a different meaning. For example, red is love, yellow is joy, pink is appreciation, and white is purity.

Here are some final tips to help extend the life of your beautiful arrangement.

  • Change the water regularly. Once a day is best, but once every second day is also ok.
  • Keep the flowers in a cool place so they don’t wilt from the heat. It’s also recommended that you keep cut flowers out of direct sunlight as this will increase their rate of dehydration in the petals.
  • Spray the petals lightly with water mist to help keep them hydrated.
  • You should always cut the ends when you receive a bunch of flowers. An inch should be taken off the first time, and then a couple of cm’s of stem should be taken off each day after that. The ends should be cut at a 45° angle.
  • Add flower food to your water, particularly if you aren’t going to be changing the water daily. The ‘food’ is an antibacterial that keeps the water clean

And of course, if your flowers are from a particularly memorable day you can dry the petals of your cut flowers so that they are preserved both in reality and in your memories.