How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Pretty — and Last Longer

Happy woman smelling bouquet of peonies.
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With just a few simple tips, your $5 bouquet from the grocery store can last for up to two weeks!

There’s just something about fresh flowers that instantly brightens my mood. If I’m having a rough week, the first thing I do is buy a few colorful bouquets and place them all over my home. I’m talking my bathroom, kitchen, bedroom…the more the merrier. They make me feel better, they bring (literal) color into my life, and make my apartment smell wonderful.

And here’s more good news — I don’t have to pay big bucks florist to have beautiful, long-lasting flowers inside my home 24/7. That’s right, all my beautiful bouquets come straight from the grocery store. Not only are they much cheaper, but they can last a long time too!

So, if you’re looking to up your flower game and want some advice, you’ve come to the right place. In fact, with just a few simple tips, you’re $5 bouquet from Trader Joe’s can last for up to two weeks!

Don’t Just Pick the First Bouquet You See

Trader Joes flowers
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Like many things in life — spouses, jobs, homes — do not just pick the first bouquet you see in the store. Take a look at the bouquet and see if there are any wilting flowers, brown spots, or signs of aging. 

In fact, try to find bouquets where the flower buds are just starting to open. Likewise, the petals on the flowers should be fairly firm and the leaves should be quite green. You can even ask someone who works at the store if they know which flowers are the freshest. 

Snip Snip

Before you place your flowers into water, grab a pair of scissors and trim a good chunk of the stems off at a 45-degree angle. You can cut your flowers as short as you want to fit your vase, but make sure to do it at the correct angle. Cutting the stems at an angle prevents air pockets from forming inside the stems, which will help the flower to absorb more water (thus keeping it alive longer). 

Cut Off Leaves

cutting leaves
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After cutting the stems, remove any leaves that would otherwise be soaking in the water. Leaves that are low on the stem can cause bacteria to form inside the water, thus ruining the bouquet as a whole. It’s a good idea to prune your stems all the way up the flower.

RELATED: How to Grow Flowers from Cuttings

Keep That Food Packet!

The plant food packet included in every bouquet is there for a reason. Don’t throw it out! It’s full of nutrients your flowers need to last longer, so make sure to add about half the packet when you’re filling up your vase with water. 

Keep the other half handy, as you can add the rest in a few days when you change out the water. If you run out of plant food or accidentally lose the packet, you can make the solution at home using two drops of bleach, a teaspoon of sugar, and a gallon of water.

Room Temperature Water

flowers in a vase
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Speaking of water, make sure you’re using room temperature water when filling up your vase. Anything too hot will basically fry them. Also, make sure to change out the water inside the vase every couple of days or so. They shouldn’t be sitting in days-old water for too long!

Put Them in the Right Place

Unlike other plants, you should not be putting your cut flowers in direct sunlight. In fact, it’s better if they’re fairly far away from any windows, as sunlight will cause them to fade very quickly. Likewise, place them in a cool room where they won’t get too hot. Just like you, bouquets want to be cool. They definitely don’t want to spend all their time in a hot room!

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