Flowers are living organisms. They need sustenance to survive. But when it comes to maintaining a bouquet of fresh flowers, does the kind of flower food used affect the longevity of the bouquet? Note: Flowers from Enjoy Flowers already last longer than store-bought bouquets. But I set out to find out what effect the kind of flower food used would have by testing four different kinds of flower food over a two week period using a few of my kitchen essentials. Here’s how it went.
Day 1: My Enjoy Flowers Bouquet Arrived
I used my Enjoy Flower monthly delivery to experiment on the best flower food to enjoy my flowers the longest. As you can see from the photos, I divided my bouquet into four smaller bouquets to fit in my mason jar vases. You can watch how to arrange your bouquets like mine here.
- For the first bouquet, I used water only (no flower food).
- The second bouquet I decided to try a flower food mixture that was a bit fancier. This vase contained a few teaspoons of household bleach, sugar, and a splash of lemon juice mixed together.
- For the third vase, I mixed a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the water,
- and for the fourth mason vase arrangement, I used the flower food powder that came with my Enjoy Flowers delivery.
One thing to note is that all of the lilies and rose buds were not fully bloomed. Throughout my experiment, I measured how each rose and lily bloomed and reacted to the flower food and my apartment’s natural lighting.
Day 4: My Lilies Finally Smiled!
When I woke up on Day 4, my windowsill was looking full of life and love! The sun was shining and a few lilies were bloomed after arriving totally closed and non-social a few days prior. As always, the alstroemerias were awake and smiling on the second day. The roses in the bleach/lemon/sugar water (second vase from left) and the pink roses in the apple cider vinegar (third vase from the left) were full of volume and open as well. On this day, I also decided to add more water and sustenance to the flowers in water-only vase (first one from left) and the apple cider vinegar vase (third vase from the left ) because they were so thirsty, since they both had used up most of the water in their respective vases.
Day 7 : The Flower Food Differences Are Starting To Show
On Day 7 the differences in flower food mixtures were clearly showing, and the apple cider vinegar vase (third vase from the left) was proving to be the weakest link. The lettuce stem in this bouquet had lost its buoyancy and had completely gone bad. It probably would have been more aesthetically pleasing to remove the entire stem from the picture at Day 7. However, the pink rose had also stopped blooming in the apple cider vinegar water. As far as flower maintenance, I added more water to all of the vases and snipped the bottoms of each bouquet. The water in the bleach/lemon/sugar mixture (second vase from left) was fresher and cleaner than the others, which really helped the alstromerias and roses bloom faster.
Day 14: My Flowers Still Look Lovely Even Though They Are Wilting
On day 14 I was surprised to see that most of my flowers were still alive and fresh even after a long weekend away with my loved ones. I noticed that all of the bouquets were thirsty and needed water. However, the bouquet vase that contained only water (first one from left) had the best looking flowers by Day 14. The bouquet vase that contained vinegar water (third vase from left) looked the worst! The lettuce stem was completely wilted and made the flowers in that bouquet look bad. Interestingly enough, the alstroemerias in all of the vases still kept to their natural beauty from when I first submerged them in water. However, the bleach/lemon/sugar flower food mixture has the most beautiful blooms!
Day 14+: Dropping by the Vase
By Day 15, it was evident that the flowers were on their last lifeline. The alstroemerias were the only flowers still smiling. The mason jars pictured above are from the water only flower food and the bleach/lemon/sugar flower food. The roses in both were completely wilted and drying out by the day. It was gloomy and raining a few days out of my experiment timeline, so perhaps that could have added to my experiment results.
Results: Who knew bleach and lemon could help fresh flowers bloom better and last longer?
Okay, so, by day 16, it was evident my fresh flowers from the month prior had lost their freshness and their bloom. They became wilted, dried up and as far as the lettuce stems go, they were unbearable to look at. If I have to pick a winner, it would be the bleach/lemon/sugar flower food mixture (second one from left) because it made the lilies bloom the fastest and widest, and the roses opened up to their full form eventually by day seven. I think the bleach kept the water fresh since green and gooky water usually doesn’t help to keep flowers alive in general. If I was in need of flower food powder, I would without a doubt use my bleach/lemon/sugar flower food mixture. It keeps the water clean and disinfected without affecting the flowers’s natural bloom.
By the way, if you’re impressed by this long lasting bouquet, consider signing up for an Enjoy Flowers subscription. Prices start at $31. Learn more here.
Written by: Melissa Henderson is a flower lover and freelance writer based in New York City. Read more of her work on www.melwrites.com.