Flowers have decorated homes, weddings, parties and an array of formal or casual establishments for decades. They not only add a splash of color to occasions, but also add a lovely aroma and appearance. It is always important to select flowers that are fresh, no matter what the occasion, to provide the the longest amount of enjoyment as possible.
Smell the flower's aroma. Flowers that are slightly older will have a little bit more of a sour smell. Fresh flowers have a strong, fragrant, sweet aroma.
Check the water that the flowers are sitting in. It must be clean, clear and odorless. If the water is in any way slightly murky, stinky or slimy, the flowers are not fresh.
Shake the flowers gently to see if any petals or leaves fall off. If they are disturbed this easily, it means they are older. Fresh flowers petals and leaves are strong.
Slightly scratch the stems with your fingernail to see how green they are underneath and if they are sturdy. Stems that are anything less than bright green, or if they are soggy, are older. Any sort of soft texture on the bottom means they have been sitting in that water for quite awhile.
Look at the petals and leaves for any discoloring or brown spots. They should be healthy looking with a consistent bright, shiny color. Discoloring indicates age.