No green thumb? No problem.

By Rachel Sylvester
Updated February 14, 2019
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Valentine's Day comes with its fair share of boxed chocolates and bouquets, but the unfortunate truth is that neither gift lasts as long as it should. While the lifespan of a heart-shaped box of confections is minimal at best, flower arrangements seem to wilt faster than it takes to consume a dozen bite-sized caramels and conversation hearts. In an effort to extend the life of beloved Valentine's Day blooms, we looked to Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers to share her tips for helping flower arrangements live their best life well beyond the holiday.

According to Stembel, long-lasting flowers begin with healthy stems. Trimming flower stems every day allows blooms to hydrate more efficiently, and it's crucial to cut each stem on an angle to maximize the surface area through which flowers intake water. Regularly changing an arrangement's water supply is yet another trick to help keep your flowers looking (and smelling) fresh. "Bacteria build up is natural as your flowers age," Stembel says. "Remove sediment by giving your stems a fresh drink, and if you see build up at the bottom of your vase, give the vessel a quick clean." So, how much water is sufficient? In general, Stembel recommends filling a vase 3/4 of the way with cool tap water before putting flowers on display, since regularly replacing and replenishing water is essential to beautiful blooms.

Freshly cut stems are surprisingly light sensitive, so flower arrangements should be removed from direct sunlight and sources of heat. Aside from regular trimmings, water changes and strategic countertop placement, yet another effective way to keep bouquets fresh includes a few drops of one common household product. "If you're busy or forgetful, adding a few drops of bleach to a vase will help extend the life of your stems, since it slows the growth of bacteria," Stembel says. Test these tactics out on your Valentine's Day bouquet today, and prepare yourself for long-lasting blooms.