15 Gorgeous Flower Hacks, Straight from a Florist

Give them some vodka. Really.

Beautiful flower arrangement
(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

Jessica Marshall, owner of Miss Daisy Floral Design Studio in Las Vegas and NYC, let us in on some of her floral tricks to make decorating your house/apartment/office with beautiful flowers easy and simple.

1. Cut the stems of your flowers at a 45-degree angle one inch from the bottom.

Cutting flower stems at a 45-degree angle

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This instantly increases the surface area for water intake, so your flowers will be well hydrated.

2. Use a teacup as a vase.

Flower arrangement in a teacup

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Don't trash flowers with shorter stems. Instead display them in a teacup. Keep the stems together using a clear hair tie, like Goody Ouchless Mini Elastics, so they don't separate in the teacup, which also makes it easier to change the water. Pictured here: pink ranunculus, lavender, and wildflowers celosia and muscari.

3. Open closed buds quickly by putting them in warm water first, then cold water.

Pink flower arrangement in a glass of water

(Image credit: Rights Unknown)

After cutting flower stems as described in No. 1, put flowers in a glass filled with warm water. After a minute, move flowers to a vase filled with cold water and leave them for 20 minutes. Flowers will open up to their maximum size. Pictured here: pink peonies.

4. Create a vodka + teaspoon of sugar concoction to keep your flowers looking flawless longer.

Bottle of vodka next to a flower vase

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Before putting your flowers in a vase, add several drops of vodka and a teaspoon of white sugar, which delays wilting. When your flowers eventually do start to die (sad face), add a shot of vodka into the water and the stems will stand up straight again for a day or two. Pictured here: tulip orange princess flowers.

5. Display succulents in pretty dessert bowls.

Succulents displayed in dessert bowls

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Dessert bowls make chic pots for a succulent! Simply fill to the brim with potting soil, which you can find at Home Depot, spritz the soil with tap water to moisten it, and then nestle the succulent into the top layer of the soil. Over time, it will begin to grow roots. Just be sure to spray them once a week with the spray bottle until the top of the soil looks wet.

6. Water your orchid with an ice cube, since it's the perfect amount of hydration.

Ice cube in a pot plant for perfect hydration

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First, repot your orchid into a vase using potting soil, if it isn't already in a vase, and then water the orchid with one ice cube a week. For larger orchids, use two ice cubes a week. The ice cube melts slowly and gives the orchid a slow drip of hydration, so that it doesn't drown it.

7. Create a grid with transparent tape to keep your flowers in place when using a shallow vase.

Grid of transparent tape on a shallow vase

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To keep short flowers from falling out of shallow vases, make a grid with clear water-resistant floral tape (or thin transparent Scotch tape) to hold flowers in place.

Grid of transparent tape on a shallow vase

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Insert fuller flowers first at an angle since they'll take up most of the vase/bowl. Next, use medium-size flowers to fill in the remaining holes in the arrangement, and then use the smallest florals as your accent flowers to finish the design. Pictured here: blue hydrangea, purple lisianthus, scabiosa pods, lavender, and celosia.

Purple flower arrange in shallow vase

(Image credit: Rights Unknown)

8. Stack a vase within a vase in order to layer fruit slices along the inside.

Stacked vases with layered lemon slices

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Find a vase that fits inside another vase with half an inch of room between them. Fill the space between the two vases up most of the way with water before slipping in sliced lemons (the arrangement pictured required nine lemons). Pop your accent flowers (pictured are a dozen sunflowers) in the center vase, and voilà!

Sunflowers arranged in stacked vases with lemon slices

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9. Dry flowers by hanging them upside down in a cool space.

Dried flowers hanging on a picture frame

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Whether it's a flower crown of a bouquet that you want to save, the best way to dry flowers is by tying the ends of the stems with a ribbon and hanging them from a nail, the corner of a picture frame, or a key rack, where they'll serve as decoration. Pictured here: a flower crown from Crowns by Christy.

10. Drop a penny in your vase to keep your flower water fresh longer.

Penny in a vase of water with flowers, next to perfume bottle

(Image credit: Rights Unknown)

The copper in pennies works as an acidifier, which helps prevent fungus or bacteria from growing. Note: Marshall suggests looking for pennies minted before 1982, since they contain more copper and will keep your arrangement look amazing a couple of days longer. Pictured here: scabiosa pods and scabiosa flowers.

11. If you live with your man and your apartment is decorated in neutral colors, try decorating with darker flowers.

Dark flower arrangement next to skull candle holder and lit candle

(Image credit: Rights Unknown)

To create a unisex-y arrangement that transcends gender, try darker flowers, like the black calla lilies, thistle, scabiosa pods, viburnum berries that were used here. They'll look lovely in a pretty birch-covered vase.

12. Twist off the head of a rose to easily access its petals.

Lady in blue twisting off the head of a pink rose

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The best way to de-petal a rose without bruising or ripping them is to hold the stem still and gently twist the rose head away from you.

For a fabulous bath, place the petals in a tub filled with warm water and rose bath oil (try this one from Jo Malone), which is naturally hydrating and will make your skin feel extra-soft. The gorgeous flowers will instantly lighten your mood!

Rose petals in a bath of water

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13. Organize a rainbow arrangement easily by choosing your flowers first, laying them out in the order you want them to appear, and then building a bouquet from there.

Rainbow colored flowers laid out on glass table

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The trick to creating a rainbow arrangement is first laying out all the flowers by color, cutting the stems at an angle, and then placing each stem in your vase at an angle. You want to make sure you insert the larger flowers first to lay the foundation of the arrangement, followed by the medium-size flowers, and finishing with the smaller blooms. And, you're done! Pictured here in order from left to right: black calla lilies, purple lisianthus, blue thistle, blue hydrangea, green trick dianthus, scabiosa pods, sunflower, yellow ranunculus, orange roses, orange tulips, red celosia, hot pink roses, pink ranunculus, light pink peony.

14. Make a rose twist bouquet by stacking each stem over one another.

Lady in blue stacking rose stems over each other in a vase of water

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To create a rose twist bouquet with pretty crisscrossing stems, start by inserting your first stem into the vase, and then place the next stem across it and continue crossing each new stem over the last one until the glass is full.

Stacked rose flower arrangement

(Image credit: Rights Unknown)

15. Dress up a plain glass vase with twine, ribbon, or lace to give it some character.

Pink flower arrangement in clear vase decorated with twine

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Here, Marshall used twine to doll up this otherwise plain glass vase, tying it in an "X" formation and twisting it in the back.

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Carly Cardellino

Carly Cardellino was the beauty director at Cosmopolitan. If you follow her Instagram, then you know she'll try just about any beauty trend or treatment once (the pics of her purple hair are on IG to prove it). But her favorite part about being in beauty is finding the most effective products, and then sharing that intel with others—because who wants to spend money on stuff that doesn't work? No one, that's who. Her most recent discovery: De La Cruz Sulfur Ointment, which will change your blemish-clearing game! Hopefully through the beauty stories she writes—and the experiences she shares—you can see exactly why she's in this business.