Learn to create DIY floral arrangements to extend the life and reach of your rose bouquet. A dozen roses doesn’t have to mean a single table centerpiece. Using this technique you can spread beauty throughout your home by creating 4 unique rose floral arrangements from a single rose bouquet. Then you can use this creative technique to expand the floral arrangements you make from grocery store bouquets, farmer’s market bouquets, and your own garden flowers.
$2 billion is spent on fresh flowers in the three days surrounding February 14th in the US each year. The average purchase is a dozen red roses for $49US. The price of flowers is just 10 percent of the total cost spent on Valentine’s Day each year, 18 billion dollars in US alone or $175 per family. (Stats from CPA Magazine, February/March 2018, p.44)
I was at Costco on the day before Valentine’s Day. As I approached the entrance, right around 5pm, there was a flood of men leaving the store with a single bouquet of a dozen roses and no other purchase.
The Costco store was crowded like December 24th. There were no carts left in the cart bay. Every till was open and the lineups at the cashiers stretched around to the candy aisle. Each of those men waited in this line up to make just one purchase — a bouquet of one dozen red roses. In the back of the store, the staff were filling the flower buckets as soon as they were emptied, while the seasonal display near the book table was kept stocked with other valentine’s bouquets ranging in price from $20 to $50. The rose bouquets were one of the better deals in the store.
What to do with a dozen roses
If you received a dozen roses this Valentine’s Day, here’s how to stretch your bouquet to spread the beauty through your home. Once you learn this useful technique you’ll no longer think of a flower purchase as a wasteful expense that you can live without. Flowers become an affordable radiance to grace the rooms of your home and make it a refuge.
When you first receive the roses, remove them from the cello package and let them breathe. If you received a package of floral preservative, separate it from the flowers. Mix the floral preservative in one quart (1 litre) of warm water or use one of the DIY floral preservative recipes below.
You may want to enjoy the 12 roses in a vase for Valentine’s Day. Simply trim the stems by making a diagonal cut one inch above the bottom of the stem. Place them in a large vase and fill the vase with the prepared water. Enjoy the roses on Valentine’s Day.
On the day after Valentine’s Day, mix up a fresh batch of floral preservative using one of the following DIY recipes. Then divide your gorgeous bouquet into 4 smaller bouquets and spread the beauty around your home.
Homemade DIY Floral Preservative
Mix the contents of the package of floral preservative into a quart of warm water. Set aside. If you didn’t receive an envelope of floral preservative you can make your own using one of the following recipes.
- Homemade floral preservative Recipe 1: ¾ teaspoon of citric acid powder, 3 drops tea tree essential oil, and 2 teaspoon of sugar dissolved in 1 quart warm filtered water. Replace the solution every 2 or 3 days in each vase.
- Homemade floral preservative Recipe 2: 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 drops of tea tree essential oil, and 1 tablespoon sugar dissolved in one quart of warm filtered water. Replace the solution every 2 or 3 days in each vase.
- Homemade floral preservative Recipe 3: 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 drop tea tree essential oil, and 1 tablespoon sugar dissolved in one quart of warm filtered water. Replace the solution every 2 or 3 in each vase.
- Homemade floral preservative Recipe 4: 1 aspirin, 1 drop of tea tree essential oil, 1 teaspoon sugar dissolved in one quart of warm filtered water. Replace the solution every 2 or 3 days in each vase.
Separate flowers for 4 floral arrangements
- 2 bud vases
- 2 cut flower vases
- 12 roses
- 4 stem of baby’s breath or other filler flowers
- Optional greenery like kitchen herbs, parsley, fern, cedar or fir branches
Fill each vase with water that contains floral preservative, leaving a one inch head space. Then follow directions for each of the following 4 rose bouquets.
Floral arrangement 1 (Single rose)
Choose the best rose for a single rose displayed in a bud vase. Trim the stem by making a diagonal cut about an inch from the bottom of the stem. The flower should stand in the vase so that the stem is twice to 2 ½ times as tall as the vase. Take one baby’s breath stem and cut individual branches of baby’s breath from it. Tuck two or three pieces into the bud vase surrounding the single rose bud. Set aside.
Floral arrangement 2 (Single rose)
Choose the second best rose for a single rose displayed in a bud vase. Trim the stem by making a diagonal cut about an inch from the bottom of the stem. The flower should stand in the vase so that the stem is twice to three times as tall as the vase. Take one baby’s breath stem and cut individual branches of baby’s breath from it. Tuck two or three pieces into the bud vase surrounding the single rose bud. Set aside.
Floral arrangement 3 (5 roses):
Choose the next best rose for an arrangement of 5 roses. This rose will be your central rose in this arrangement. Pick 4 smaller roses and place them around the best rose in this arrangement so that they are slightly shorter, allowing the best rose to stand up in the arrangement. When you have a pleasing arrangement, hold the stems in one hand and cut them evenly across about 2 inches up from the bottom of the stem, to open the stems to water. Place the stems in the vase.
Cut a stem of baby’s breath into several branches. Tuck these into the spaces between the roses in the arrangement. If there are spaces in the arrangement these can be filled with other greenery, ferns, grasses, fir or cedar branches, fresh rosemary, or other herbs.
Floral arrangement 4 (5 roses):
You have 5 roses left. Choose the best rose of these 5 and make it your tallest and central flower. Arrange the remaining 4 flowers in a spiral around the first flower. When you have a pleasing look, hold the group firmly and cut the stems about 2 inches from the bottom. Place the roses in the vase.
Cut the last stem of baby’s breath and place the branches of baby’s breath around the roses that are already in the vase, filling in any bare spots. Other greenery can also be added if you wish to fill out the display.
How to care for floral bouquets
Every 2 or 3 days, replace the water in the vases with freshly prepared floral preservative using one of the DIY recipes above. Trim the bottom of the rose stems about ½ inch up from the bottom of the stem, using a diagonal cut. Place immediately in the prepared water in the vase. Your roses may last up to 14 days using this technique.
How to arrange seasonal flowers to get more bouquets from a single purchase
This principle of dividing a large bouquet into several smaller bouquets to spread the cheer and beauty around your home can be used with roses as well as any other seasonal bouquet. Market bouquets are usually the least expensive way to purchase seasonal flowers. The main flowers will change depending on what’s in season throughout the year. Each bouquet will contain 3 to 5 stems of large focal point flowers plus 10 to 15 stems of filler flowers and greenery.
You can also apply this technique to single species bouquets by adding in greenery from your own garden. It doesn’t just apply to roses. Tulips, sunflowers, and other showy flowers make stunning bouquets when other flowers are added. By applying this technique you can get more mileage from each bouquet.
How to arrange garden flowers to get more bouquets
Lastly you can also use this to arrange flowers from your own garden and spread the cheerful beauty and fragrance throughout your home. Flowers such as sunflowers, roses, dahlias, brown eyed Susan, purple cone flowers, and other large blooms work well as the focal flowers. You’ll need 12 to 15 blooms depending on their size. Filler flowers can be baby’s breath, anise hyssop, daisy, aster, pansy, everlastings, and many other daintier blooms. Fill in with herbs and other greenery like ferns or evergreens to make a full, showy table center piece or smaller vase arrangement.
Here’s the basic formula to get the most mileage from a single grocery store or farmer’s market bouquet.
Basic recipe for DIY floral arrangements
12 large flower stems
4 large filler flower stems or 16 to 20 smaller filler flower stems
20 pieces of greenery (optional)
I’d love to see your bouquets. Pop over to the Facebook group and upload a picture of your own DIY bouquets and tell me how you used this technique to get more mileage from your flowers.