This Is the Genius Trick to Making Fresh Flowers Last Longer That You’re Missing

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If you've ever thrown a bunch of fresh flowers in a vase and immediately felt a sense of ahh, you're not imagining it. A 2018 study supports that adding flowers to your environment can significantly reduce stress for women (don't you love when science backs you up?).

"Flowers have always been a source of happiness and stress relief," noted Uprooted Flower Truck founder Ashley Heckler at our solstice-themed Wellness Collective event with Athleta, where guests got to arrange seasonal summer bouquets. "Everyone’s big question is: How do I keep my flowers alive?"

Exactly. Step one, according to Heckler, is ensuring that you clip off any leaves below the water line, as "leaves in the base and the water breed bacteria." From there, make sure to swap out your vase with fresh water daily, as well as clip the stems so they can better absorb the hydration.

But here's the real kicker for how to keep flowers fresh: "I recommend warm water for almost all flowers," said Heckler. Yep, warm. That's because the higher temperature helps open up the freshly cut stems, allowing the flowers to better soak up H20 and boosters from flower food. (You can use any brand of flower food, which is essentially powdered bleach that keeps stems and water clean.)

Got a dinner party and a bunch of balled-up peonies? The warm water will help the blooms open up faster. How about limp, lifeless hydrangeas? A dunk in a hot bath will instantly revive lackluster petals.

When it comes to arranging your fresh flowers, Heckler suggests differing shapes, heights, textures, and colors. Start with focal blooms first (these will be your tallest stems, just be sure to vary their heights for visual interest), add some supporting players, and finish with bushy greens to help disguise stems above the waterline. It's official: You're basically a (very Zen) florist now.

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