Flowers don't last forever. You can prolong the life of cut flowers by changing the water daily, recutting the stems and adding a floral preservative. No matter what you do, eventually that stunning floral arrangement of roses, lilies or gerbera daisies will die. Instead of tossing the whole thing in the garbage, recycle what you can.
Dry the Flowers
Remove flowers such as carnations, roses, larkspur and baby's breath. Gather the stems together with a rubber band. Hang them upside down until dry. Use the dried flowers in wreaths or potpourri. Flowers that are rotted or molded won't dry well. Neither will colors such as dark red, which dry black, or some whites, which dry to a beige color. Remove flower heads from their stems and press them.
Add to Compost Heap
Compost adds organic material back to the soil. Starting a compost heap is as easy as piling up dead flowers with grass clippings, and shredded newspapers. Remove the flowers and greenery from the arrangement and add to the heap. Spray the pile lightly with water to start the decomposition process. Add kitchen refuse such as vegetable and fruit peelings. In a few months the dead flowers will be part of the compost and help your flower garden grow.
Reuse the Container and Floral Foam
Remove the flowers and greenery by pulling the stems out of the floral foam. Soak the foam in water to rehydrate it. Assemble a new arrangement with fresh flowers and greenery.
Regift the Arrangement
Let the arrangement completely dry. Spray paint it black. Add a black bow and give the arrangement to a good friend for his 30th, 40th or 50th birthday as a gag gift, or give it to an ex to mark a breakup or divorce (if he or she has a sense of humor).
Make New Arrangements
Not all the flowers will die at once. Some flowers such as carnations will last longer than others. Remove the flowers that are still alive. Cut an inch off the stems and place them in iced water. Regroup the flowers into a smaller, shorter arrangement.