If you have ever attended a flower arranging class, or watched a florist at work, then you may have come across a process called ‘conditioning’. This describes the steps that are taken to ensure your flowers not only look their absolute best, but ensure that they will last as long as possible. Depending on the flower, it will involve different processes, but there are some general steps that you can take for all flowers and foliage you will use
- Let your flowers rest. Once you get them home, place them directly into room temperature water, out of direct sunlight for a few hours. This will help them to recover after their journey back to your home.
- Once rested, tidy up your stems. Remove any leaves from the stem that will sit below the water line. This will not only make it easier to arrange your flowers later on, it will also stop any plant matter rotting into the water and causing your flowers to go over prematurely.
- Whilst doing this process, you can also break up stems that have multiple branches. This will make your flowers go much further and allow you to create a much more delicate and textured flower arrangement.
- Recut the end of your stem. This will refresh the part of the flower that drinks up the water (the xylem if you want the scientific term for it). Cut around 1cm off using a sharp, clean pair of scissors or a knife, and cut at a 45 degree angle to increase the drinking surface area. For woody stems, like hydrangea, you can also cut up into the stem to help them drink up even more. Place into fresh, cool (but not freezing) water and keep out of direct sunlight. We recommend recutting your stems every couple of days once you’ve put your arrangement together.
- Keep your water fresh! If you’re not creating your arrangement straight away, be sure to change your water at least once a day, and once you have put it together top up the water regularly, and change it completely if it changes colour or goes cloudy.
Every single stem you buy from a florist will have undergone these processes (and in some case even more!) but it never hurts to go over your stems again.
Grace & Thorn for NUDE