Why Our Flowers Last So Long

November 30


By Carolyn

November 30, 2018

Recently, I’ve had customers telling me they are surprised their flowers have lasted so long. They really shouldn’t be surprised! In this post, I would like to explain how some of my customers have had arrangements lasting more than two weeks.


When you buy from Folk Art, you are getting the freshest local stems, transported the least distance. Some flowers come from my cutting garden right here in Seattle. Other flowers and materials come from outside of the city, but when I buy them, it is likely they were cut either that morning or the day before. Some flower farmers have discussed putting a “cut on” date on their flowers, similar to a production date for food, so you can tell how fresh they are. No one has implemented this yet (to my knowledge), but there is definitely a difference in how fresh local farm flowers are compared to those that are flown in. (For more on this, check out my blog post, “Three Reasons Why Local, “Slow” Flowers Matter”.) It is the same difference you feel when you take an international flight!

It’s difficult to get much fresher than cutting from the garden!


Sometimes, a particularly long vase life can be attributed to the variety of flower. For example, we know that chrysanthemums can last over two weeks, even if the water does not get changed frequently! For whatever reason, they are super sturdy flowers and can take a lot of abuse. This is also why you often see mums and roses in grocery stores, flown in from wherever. Other varieties of flowers, like dahlias, are not sturdy at all! We know they have a maximum vase life of maybe 7 days, depending on the cultivar. However, to achieve this, we have to condition them. A good farmer-florist will be able to understand your needs in how long flowers must last, select the appropriate flowers for the occasion, and know how to condition them for the best results.

These mums are so hardy, they lasted 3 weeks in the vase. They were cut from the backyard and are still on my mantle!!


Conditioning is just florist-speak for what happens to flowers after the harvest. Our goal is to help our stems drink better and survive longer. For example, some flowers are harvested outside of water, and only put in water after a full bucket has been harvested. This means that while they are sitting out, air bubbles can develop in the stems. Air bubbles in stems block water and nutrient intake, and make flowers wilt and dehydrate faster. To avoid this, florists will “condition” the stems so that we remove the air bubbles and help them drink. You can check out a video of air bubbles leaving on our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter–it’s mesmerizing!

Air bubbles leaving dahlia stems

I hope this helps you understand some of the full value you are getting when you buy our flowers. You are getting the freshest flowers, the most suitable (or interesting!) varieties, and every single one of our stems is conditioned before making it to your door. As a result, you can expect our flowers to last a really long time. As we approach the end of the year, visit our shop now to purchase flower CSA subscriptions as a gift, or schedule a consultation for your 2019 wedding!

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