How to Save Cash on Flowers

September 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm , by

Salma Hayek[1]

I love flowers (lilacs are my sentimental fave) so it’s a shame that I don’t keep them in the house more often. To be honest, money is a factor. I can’t count how many times I’ve dropped $10-$15 on a simple bouquet, only to watch it drop all its petals within a couple days. Wah-wah.

That’s why I talked to floral designer to the stars Eric Buterbaugh, who’s serving as head judge on Logo’s new reality show, The Arrangement. Watch the series, premiering October 4, to see 10 designers battle it out in extreme floral challenges.

While Eric specializes in elaborate creations for the Hollywood A-list, from Halle Berry to Salma Hayek (the above design was made for her), he really wants everyone to enjoy the beauty of flowers: “They make your space a happier place.” Here, his tips for getting the most blooms for your buck.

1. Hit the grocery store. The big chains can buy flowers in mass quantities, which brings down the price tag for you.

2. Choose wisely. Don’t pick the ones with wide open blooms. Their lifespan is likely just a few days. If you buy lilies that are completely closed, for example, they’ll last up to 10 days.

3. Keep up on maintenance. Always cut stems—or smash the woody ones—before putting them in water. And it’s worth the effort to change that water every day—your flowers will stay beautiful much longer. (But they won’t last forever: expect 5-7 days for most varieties.) Add a few drops of bleach to the water to prevent fungus from growing.

4. Balance time and cost. Roses and spray roses may cost a bit more than the cheapest flowers at the market, but they’re long-lasting, giving you more enjoyment for your money. Same goes for luxurious flowers like potted orchids, which will bloom for 6 weeks and cost under $20.

5. Stick with singles. “Single ingredient” arrangements can have big impact and don’t cost much to do. Buy one type of flower and break up the bouquet, placing individual stems in bud vases, or floating flower heads in clear bowls, and line them up on a table.

For more floral inspiration, check out “Fall for Flowers” in our November issue.

Photo credit: Don Liebig at Don Liebig Photography