Flowers From Your Valentine

By Tayla Mann, UMaine Extension Staff, Administrative Clerk

Valentine’s Day has become a well-known tradition filled with chocolate, greeting cards, and especially flowers. However, with Valentine’s Day come and gone you’re probably beginning to wonder how to make those cherished flowers last a little longer. So we have compiled a few tips as our Valentine’s present from UMaine Extension to you!

How do you make your beautiful bouquet last as long as possible? We asked Marie Temm, a Homemaker and a florist at Skillin’s Greenhouse, for some helpful tricks in floral preservation.

Marie’s Advice to Lengthen the Life of Your Bouquet

  • Make a new cut at the end of each flower stem every other day.
  • Adding floral nutrients during each water change. A packet is usually supplied with each store bought bouquet, however, you can buy more at your local greenhouse or flower shop.
  • Placing flowers in a cool place will also allow them to last longer while warmer temperatures may quicken the wilting process.

It was great to chat with Marie and we are grateful that she shared her vast knowledge with us! She shared some fun facts as well that we would love to share with you. When cutting flowers, Marie let us know that Roses and Gerber Daisies are best to cut under water. Cutting the stems out of water tends to make them seal immediately!

Our conversation with Marie sparked our interest to try floral preservation for ourselves. She advised us that though they do have dryer presses now for quicker drying preservation we can still take on the old school methods of hanging or heavy books! We tried the heavy book method. If you’re interested in drying your flowers, the University of Missouri Extension has some helpful advice: Drying Flowers and Foliage for Arrangements.

Our Flower Press Experience

We took a bouquet and snipped the flower heads off and laid them on a piece of brown paper. Then we covered our flowers with another piece of brown paper and put several large books on top in order to flatten them. Then it was just the “set it and forget it” approach. A week into the process we checked on our flowers. Each flower was flattening nicely, and it seemed as though the smaller flowers were drying at a faster rate than the others. We replaced the books and waited some more. Two weeks have passed and Valentine’s Day has arrived, so we checked the flowers once more. Final results show that after two weeks our flowers have not fully dried through the pressing process and some have acquired a slight mold. We are taking into consideration whether we used the correct paper and should have used waxed paper instead.

Trial and error is key to finding the best preservation methods! We hope you test out flower preservation as well and share your experiences with us on Facebook and Twitter at @UMaineCumbCty

 ♥ Happy (belated) Valentines Day! ♥