How to Keep a Flower Diva Happy

Yesterday I had the opportunity to hang out at the Quincy Feather River Food Co-op and connect with folks that have been supporting and purchasing our flowers this season (Thanks, we're so grateful!). I brought some beautiful bouquets with Cafe Au' Lait dahlias. These gorgeous Dinnerplate dahlias are absolute stunners, and like any diva, their big, bold, showiness can't last forever. Namely, the showier the dahlia, the shorter the vase life.

That said, they are absolutely worth growing and purchasing as cut flowers AND I want to give you some tips to make these ladies as well as ALL your cut flowers last longer.


  1. Treat cut flowers like ice cream. This is my favorite tip which I learned from a Southern grower. If you wouldn't buy ice cream because it will melt in the car, believe the same about flowers. Hot cars are a bouquet's nemesis. Not only will they fry on the way home, the ones that don't wilt will have their vase-life drastically reduced. If you're buying a bouquet, make it your last stop before you head home.

  2. Hydrate. Especially Dahlias. Dahlia's can drink water through out their whole stem, the more water, the more hydrated they will stay. Dahlias are not like grocery store varieties which can be out of water for long periods of time and easily rehydrate. We recommend keeping a jar in your car or an old water bottle so you can keep them happy even on the way home. I've buckled lots of bouquets into the front seat so they have a safe trip home in their water bottle!

  3. Re-cut their stems daily, especially dahlias. If you look at the ends of your flowers after a day you may see that they are browning and getting smooshy at the the ends. This means that bacteria are eating away at the bottom and clogging the highway where water flows to the blooms. Clipping the stems removes the traffic jam and water can again be pulled up into the bloom

  4. Change the water. Fresh water removes build up of bacteria and keeps that hydration highway flowing

  5. Keep them out of direct light. The more light and heat cut flowers have the more they "breathe" or transpire. When they transpire, they lose water, which leads to wilting. They transpire, we perspire, similar principle.

  6. Keep them cool. Cool is the number one thing you can do to keep your flowers longer. If you're really feeling hard-core slip your vase into the fridge before you go to bed at night and take it out in the morning. Cool, cut flowers are happy cut flowers.

Good Luck with the Divas, they may be more effort, but they are always worth it.


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