By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Americans spent an estimated $20 billion on Valentine’s Day this year.

And a lot of that went to flowers, especially red roses.

Flowers are expensive, and you want them to stick around for a while. So how do you make them last longer? We spoke with Georgi Sawdey from Maple Grove Floral.

“I look forward to this day being over [laughs]!” Sawdey said. “It is a big, big, important week.”

About 15 percent to 20 percent of their yearly sales come from Valentine’s Day. And when flowers wilt away, you can’t exactly return them.

“One of the main things is keeping the water level full, and keep the water clean,” Sawdey said.

(credit: CBS)

She said there are other tricks to keep them looking and smelling good. Make sure they get a fresh cut every couple days with a knife or rose clipper. And roses love sugar, just like us.

“A little bit of 7 UP, sometimes people say, or even a little bit of sugar and bleach in the water,” Sawdey said.

The sugar contains nutrients, and the bleach kills bacteria in the water — but don’t use too much.

And nothing screams “Be Mine” like an acidifier, which are found in flower food packets. The chemicals help stems soak up water.

Some florists believe the copper in pennies helps kill bacteria, and aspirin helps with water flow.

For all the do’s, Sawdey said there are just as many don’ts.

“You don’t want them to sit near a heat vent, a television, anything that’s putting out any kind of heat, or in a sunny window,” she said.

Another trick is that if your bouquet is small enough to fit in your refrigerator, you can keep it cool overnight.

For other flowers, like hydrangeas, florists say it’s good to submerge them in cold water when they start to wilt. Often times, that will revitalize them.

John Lauritsen


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