What you need to know when choosing blooms.

By Christine Camean Garson
Updated August 05, 2004
Ellen Silverman
  • Choose flowers with some unopened buds. But avoid any tightly shut green buds, which were not given enough time to mature before cutting and will never open.
  • Look for firm stems and blossoms. If you're shopping for flowers that have heavy heads, such as spider mums and gerbera daisies, choose stems with plastic straws or foam cuffs protecting the blooms.
  • Check leaves for discoloration and imperfections―an unhealthy appearance may indicate the flowers are past their prime.
  • Stores usually receive new stock on the same days every week. Ask a clerk or a manager when flowers are delivered so you can buy them at their freshest.