The Most Important Step When Putting Flowers In A Vase

Flowers in a Vase with Clean Stems

IF YOU DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE… DO THIS!!!

I used to think that the most important element of a flower arrangement was design. But after flowering for 15 years, I’ve changed my tune. Flowers in a vase all need one thing, can you guess what that may be?

As a Floral designer in New York City, I’ve seen it all. The grand parties, over the top dinner parties, and gorgeous weekly florals in private penthouses. I’ve even sourced the flowers for and helped to install a dinner for two in an apartment with 26,000 red roses (yep! You read that right. That’s not a typo!) 

But even after all that, I don’t think design is the most important element. It matters for sure. But after all my experience with flowers, the most important step when putting flowers in a vase is….

Never leave any leaves submerged below the water line. Period.  

Doesn’t matter how fancy (or simple!), all flower arrangements should have this in common! 

Why?

Because if you don’t, the flowers will die faster. No one wants that. Help the flowers live their best lives and take those leaves off the flower stems!

LEAVES SUBMERGED IN WATER BREED BACTERIA

Yep, you read that right. Leaves that are submerged under water in a vase breed bacteria. Do you know what ultimately kills your beautiful blooms? BACTERIA!! 

It’s such an easy step, but the most overlooked tip in my opinion when putting flowers in a vase. So I’m here to spread the word…. Get those leaves out of the water AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Bacteria creates the worst smell. Really it is the worst.

Have you ever cleaned a vase after flowers and wondered, what is that rank smell?! Bacteria. My friends that awful smell is bacteria. 

Turns the water cloudy! And it kills your blooms fast. Ain’t nobody wants that.

Happy Flowers in a vase with clean stems
Happy Flowers in a vase with clean stems

ALWAYS TAKE THE LEAVES OF THE FLOWER STEMS

Before you even begin arranging your flowers, they need to be properly prepped. So if you do nothing else, take all the leaves off the flower stem that will be below the water line. Your flowers will thank you, and quite frankly your nose will thank you as well, haha.

CREATE SPACE WITH FLOWERS IN A VASE

Taking the leaves off of the flower stems creates two advantages in your arrangement. First, it creates space for the flowers. A little space makes the arrangement look sleeker and more professional, especially if it is in a clear glass vase.

No flowers want to be packed so tightly in a vase that they look “choked”, but by taking off the leaves, you create a little more room for the flower to breathe.

HEALTHY FLOWERS IN A VASE LOVE CLEAN STEMS

Secondly, not only does taking the leaves off the stems provide a cleaner look it helps to keep the flowers healthy. Cleaning the leaves off of your flower stems stops bacteria from forming quickly. But if you leave the stems on, and they are submerged under water… disaster!

I know I already mentioned this bit about the bacteria, but it bears repeating. Clean those stems!

After removing the leaves from the flower stems, always give them a nice clean cut with clippers. And as my toddler likes to say to each flower, “have a good drink!”

I always let my flowers drink for about an hour (or longer if I have time) to properly hydrate before arranging. Your flowers will thank you so much for these steps.

Happy Designing!

xo

Emily

PS- For more tips on how to perfectly wrap a bouquet of flowers click here

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