Real Simple

Staying (Flower) Power

Some blooms require a little TLC to remain in tip-top shape. Show these flowers extra attention as soon as you get home.



Hydrate for one to two hours in cool water, and keep away from extreme heat.


Hydrate cut flowers for a full five to six hours before arranging so they can stand on their own (otherwise you’ll be left with floppy stems).


Avoid drooping by inserting a wooden skewer or chopstick into the hollow stem.


Make a oneinch slit up the center of the stem, and moisten the heads with a spray bottle to ensure they stay adequately hydrated.


Buds need four to seven days to fully open (enough time for you to prepare for the intense fragrance lilies are famous for).


Remove all foliage, and hydrate stems for two to four hours in hot water before arranging in a separate vase.

Excerpted from Flower School: A Practical Guide to the Art of Flower Arranging by Calvert Crary. Reprinted by permission of Black Dog & Leventhal, an imprint of Running Press, part of the Perseus division of Hachette Book Group. Copyright © 2020 by Calvert Crary.

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