If you’re like me, you walk past the cut flowers in the grocery store, wanting to buy a bunch, but holding back because it’s such a frivolous purchase. Is it? Today you can find flowers in almost every price range, from a single stem for less than a dollar to the $80 orchids I noticed last week. This bunch of healthy tulips was a steal for $5.
If you’re still fighting the February blues, there’s no better excuse to pick up some flowers. Studies have shown that having flowers around the house or office improves your mood, making you more happy and relaxed while reducing stress-related depression.
Concerned about the environmental impact of cut blooms? When buying your flowers, don’t forget to look for Veriflora certification, or even better, purchase from a local farm when in season. Many of the vegetable farms in our area also grow flowers for cutting, selling them at the weekly farmers’ market.
When you bring your flowers home, be sure to properly prepare them. This means starting with a vase that’s been well cleaned with soap and hot water. Give the bottoms of each stem a fresh trim. Remove any foliage that would be submerged in water. I kept the upper leaves on these tulips (because I wanted a touch of green in my vase), but I cut off the bottom leaf from each stem. Accordingly, I only filled my vase half-full of water, so as not to cause the upper leaves to begin to decay.
Remember to watch your water level and refill your vase with fresh water daily (or top it off day and completely replace every 3 or so days). You can also add a touch of bleach to keep microorganism grown to a minimum. Use the food packet that comes with your flowers – it’s the easiest way to give the flowers the little bit of nutrients they will need for maintenance.
A few more notes about about tulips ~ they continue to grow after they are cut, and they will bend their flowers towards a light source! To keep your bouquet balanced, you can give it a turn every couple of days, and don’t hesitate to cut those growing stems again to keep the bottoms fresh.
If well cared for, cut tulips will look great for over a week in your home. That’s less than a $1/day for a week of happy-inducing vibes!