Caring for Your Valentine's Day Blooms

Feb 15, 2019

More cut flowers are purchased on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year, in spite of the fact that the holiday falls in the dead of winter.

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to horticulturists Richard Jauron and Cindy Haynes about how to get the most out of your cut flowers. They also share tips for how to bring springtime into our homes by forcing flowering tree and shrub branches into bloom. Later in the hour, Haynes and Jauron answer listener questions. 

The first step for prolonging the life of your bouquets is to place them in an area of your house with enough light and warmth, such as a kitchen table or countertop.

"Make sure you put them in a bright, well lit location away from a door or a window or even a vent so that they don't get too hot or too cold," Haynes says.

If they're not yet in a vase, cut about an inch from the stems and get them into clean, room temperature water as soon as possible. Then, be sure to change the water every few days. 

"How long they last depends on variety," Haynes says. You can usually expect your bouquet to last between a week and two weeks with proper care. 

For longer lasting blooms, consider pruning branches from your flowering trees and shrubs and placing them in water inside. This will force them to flower before spring arrives, giving your home a much-needed touch of brightness. Jauron recommends pussy willow and forsythia as easy and beautiful options.