Remove the outer layer of petals around your flower buds. These outer petals are called "guard petals" and tend to look rough, dry and sometimes greenish. They protect the flower buds during growth and handling. Pull off the guard petals by the root until a fresh new layer of petals is revealed.
(Normally, flower shops and florists remove the guard petals for us so we are not accustomed to seeing them. However, because our flowers ship directly from the farms the guard petals are still intact thereby giving you the freshest bunch possible). Please make sure to remove the guard petals so you can expose your fresh flowers.
To lengthen the life of your flowers trim at least one inch off the stems at a slant angel exposing as much surface area as possible for the stems to absorb water. Change water every few days.
Trim leaves to your liking. Your bouquet will arrive in a tightly tucked bunch but within 24 hours the leaves will expand and return to their natural state.
Always put your flowers in cool water as warm water will dehydrate and weaken the flower buds. Fill your vase no more than 4 to 6 inches with water.
Remove all leaves and any foliage below the water line as this will cause rotting that creates bacteria which will impede water absorption to the stem.
Home-made flower food: add 1 tablespoon of sugar and a couple of aspirin OR 1 tablespoons of lemon juice - to your vase water. The sucrose gives energy to the flower and the acidifier prevents bacteria overgrowth as well as maintaining a healthy pH balance in the water.
Lastly, remember that keeping your flowers in a shaded cool area is going to prolong their life. The more heat and sun they are exposed to, the shorter their lifespan will be.