Follow these tips, and your flowers will look as good as those that come from the florist.
Cut fresh flowers longer than you need. Cut the stems again under water immediately before placing them in a vase.
Or, keep a bucket of water with you when you cut flowers in the garden, and put the flowers into the bucket immediately.
Cut fresh flower stems at an angle to double the area that can take in water.
Cut roses like to be put into hot water.
Don't put cut pieces of rose stems or any rose leaves into the compost pile - they often contain powdery mildew or black spot that will contaminate the entire pile.
The perfect rose for a vase is one that has not opened all the way and is not a tight bud. A tight bud will never open, and a bloom that has already opened fully will drop its petals and open way too far for beauty.
To keep flowers fresh longer in a vase, remove any leaves from stems below the lip of the vase.
Add a tablespoon of white vinegar and sugar, or bleach and sugar to the water.
Change the water when it gets cloudy, and add more vinegar and sugar or bleach and sugar to the water each time.
Don't touch flower petals, to prevent bruising or discoloration.
When cut flowers start to droop, you may get extra show time from your cut flowers if you cut the stems again (under water) and put them into a vase of very cold water.
Try dying your cut flowers to match your decor by adding some food coloring to the water. It may take a few days to get the full effect.
To take an arrangement of freshly cut flowers with you, use a balloon. Fill the balloon with water, add the stems, and use a twist-tie to keep the balloon closed. Or, you can transport them in a vase with water by putting the vase into a small but deep box. Secure the vase by wrapping a towel or two around it inside the box.
Clean a used flower vase by putting in a handful of uncooked rice, filling most of the way with water, and swirling. The rice will "scrub" the bottom and sides for you. Tiny pebbles should work as well, but don't let them go down the drain.
To make flower arranging easier, put strips of masking tape in a criss-cross design over the opening of the vase. Each stem will have its own support.
If a few stems are too short for your flower arrangement, stick them into clear straws for extra length.