Always use a sharp, straight knife (not serrated) to cut flowers.
But if you are not comfortable with a knife, then using a pair of sharp shears is OK. If the shears/scissors are not sharp, they can pinch the stem of the flower instead of creating a clean open cut, which allows the water to flow up the stem better.
If you are arranging flowers in a vase, put a few drops of bleach in the water.
It helps the water stay clean, which will help your flowers last longer. Ideally, re-cut your flowers and change the water every other day. This will extend the life of the flowers.
Generally, it is better to “green” the arrangement first.
This means to use your greenery to set the frame for your arrangement, whether it’s going to be one-sided, all-around, or tall, etc. Greening first, also helps to hide the foam (if you are using it). Next, start with the tallest or longest flower available in your selection. Then onto the largest flower, then the medium size and so on, until you finish it with the smallest, the “filler” flowers. Then complete it with accents like ribbons, etc.
If you have roses (or any flower) that seem to wilt sooner than they should, or not open up, just re-cut the stem and put it in warm water.
The warm water flows up the stem quicker. This will often rejuvenate the flower.
If you are making a fresh flower arrangement, make sure the foam you will be using is for fresh flowers, NOT for silk or dried flowers.
There is a difference. You can not use the same type of foam. The foam for silks or dried flowers is firmer like Styrofoam and will not soak up water. The foam for real flowers is softer and not able to hold silks for an extended amount of time. Many people often make this mistake when buying the foam for their arrangement.
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