Tips on Buying Fresh Flowers

Everyone wants to find the freshest and most attractive bunch of fresh flowers at the florist. Keeping some key tips in mind when you buy fresh flowers will make it more likely that you find the healthiest and freshest bouquet that will last the longest in your home or as a gift.

Bypass Flowers in Outside Stands

Flower shops usually advertise themselves by placing flower stands outside the shop, attracting buyers inside. Bypass these and focus on finding the freshest flowers inside the shop. While outside the shop all day, these flowers are exposed to car fumes, weather elements such as the sun or wind, and other harmful conditions. Being exposed to these things speeds up the wilting process, especially in flowers like carnations, roses and orchids.

Examine the Stems and Leaves

When choosing fresh flowers, turn them over to take a look at the cut stem ends. For best quality, the stem ends should be green or white and look as though they were recently cut. Avoid stems with dark ends that are split, since this is a sign of wilting. Also observe the leaves for any spotting or yellowing, a sign that the flower will wilt soon.

Check the Water

Fresh flowers should always be in some sort of water at the shop. Look at the water to ensure that it is clear. Murky water means the water isn't clean and may be old or that the flower is wilting quickly or will die more quickly. Tulips are the exception to the rule: They are known to be kept in murky, almost muddy, water.

Examine the Flowers

Look at the actual flower petals and buds. The petals should be sturdy, not wilting and moist. Avoid flowers whose edges are starting to brown or that are crispy around the edges and dry. Choose the flowers that have not opened yet or the bouquet with the fewest open flowers. This will ensure that the flowers last as long as possible. This is especially true for flowers such as roses and lilies. However, flowers such as Gerber must be purchased fully open. Ask the florist about specific flowers and if they need to be closed or not.

Keywords: picking flowers, buying flowers, flower purchasing tips

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.