*Always re-cut stems under cold water if flowers are gifted/purchased without a vase. By re-cutting the stem, you prevent air pockets or air embolisms from developing in the stem.
*Trim stems at about a 45 degree angle. This allows maximum surface exposure for the stem allowing water to travel freely up the stem and to the bud. For woody stems like the kind found on lilac, hydrangea and rhododendrons, crush ends with a mallet to promote water flow.
*Be sure to remove any leaves or other foliage that will be below the water surface. Additional foliage in the water leads to rot and decay, not to mention STINKY water!
*Keep flowers out of direct sunlight, need I say more?! ;o)
*Include sprigs of artificial ivy, fern, baby's breath or other silk filler to give your budget buds more "umph." Artificial greenery bunches or "picks" as they say in the floral world can be purchased a craft emporiums, floral supply and my favorite hot-spot, DOLLAR TREE!
*Add splash of sprite to the vase to for a floral food substitute. A teaspoon of bleach or Listerine will ward off any harmful bacteria while the combination of a penny and aspirin will do the same trick. Try all these quirky little methods and see which works best for you!
*Change your vase water every two days or so, beware of murky water! You may want to re-cut stems too if you have time to spare.
*Invest in carnations, alstromeria, chrysanthemums, delphinium and lilies. Roses, tulips and gerbera daises are oh-so elegant but they sport a short shelf life. Orchids are a little pricier than the blooms mentioned above however, if cared for properly, these beauts could last you for three weeks! Now that's more bloom for your buck!
*As your flowers begin to wilt and die, remove these fading flowers as they produce a gas called ethylene which will cause other healthy flowers to wilt too. (Apples produce this same gas keep your flowers away from your fruits!)
I hope you find these horticulture hints helpful and that they keep your buds blooming!
Be sure to stay tuned, dahlin's!