Jim Lerdal owner of the Houston School of Floral Design offers simple tips to keep your Valentine's day flowers looking fresh. If your flowers arrive without a vase, hold them under water while cutting the stems at an angle. The angle keeps an air pocket from forming when the stem is placed in the vase and allows the water to flow up the stem.
Generations have passed down the task of adding 7-Up, aspirin, or a drop of bleach into the water. Jim confirms that in the absence of a flower food packet, these items help keep the water clear and are a value to longer lasting flowers. If your flowers arrive with a wilted head, try submerging the whole thing into cold water for 20 minutes then re-cut the tip at an angle.
At the school's beginner flower arranging class, Jim shares a secret to perfect placement in the vase: oasis tape. This industry specific tape has a likeness to packing tape but offers more pliability. Jim demonstrates placing four strips of tape across the mouth of the vase and then crossing four additional pieces of tape across those. This nearly invisible tape will create convenient holes in which to place the stem of each of the flowers.
Jim suggests using leather leaves to cradle your roses, the most popular flower purchased this season. He says that well cared for roses should last 7-10 days and do not require a change of water but warns that at this time of year, the roses being sold may have been cut sooner and consequently may not last as long.
What are your favorite gifts to give and get at Valentine's day?