6 tips to make ordinary grocery store flowers look amazing! Learn how to spot the freshest flowers, which ones to buy, and how to showcase them! Don’t spend a fortune at the florist and instead make your own beautiful bouquets.

I love to decorate with fresh flowers in my home, especially during Springtime!  Fresh flowers help breathe a little “life” into a room and bring the outdoors in.  Plus, they add a little color which helps to change up the look of a room without spending a lot of money.  

While I would love to go to the flower market and pick out all of my favorites, it’s just not possible.  We have a few nice florists nearby, but I find them to be a bit pricey.

So instead, I buy my flowers from my local grocery store because they have an amazing floral section! Or if you’re lucky to live near a Trader Joe’s, they have beautiful fresh-cut flowers at great prices.  I’m usually able to find several of my favorites in a variety of colors, including roses, stock, hydrangeas, ranunculus, snap dragons, and peonies!!

pink peonies mixed with white snap dragons lying on wood table

Here are my SIX best tips for making ordinary grocery store flowers look amazing and stay fresh! I’m not a flower expert or a floral arranging artist, but these tips have always worked for me to ensure that my blossoms look as good as they can for as long as possible.

1. Buy One Type of Flower – Skip the Mixed Bouquet

Personally, I’m not a fan of the ready-made mixed bouquets.  My issue with the mixed bouquet is that they often have only a few of the more expensive, nice flowers, mixed with lots of “filler” flowers and a lot of leaves and greenery that take away from the “wow” of the individual blossoms.  Not to mention that you’ll find some of the flowers aren’t as fresh as others.

Instead, purchase a single-flower bouquet. This way, you can ensure all the freshness of the bouquet, plus you’ll have more dramatic impact. If you want to add some variety, consider a small accent flower, like wax flower, berries, or branches.


2. Look for the Freshest Flowers

The same way you inspect produce before buying, inspect your flowers! You want to ensure they look well-hydrated and not shriveled. Check to ensure there aren’t brown edges on the petals or slime on the stem. Purchasing blooms that haven’t fully opened yet will also ensure that they last longer.

Some varieties of flowers last longer than others, so take that into consideration when purchasing your flowers. Lilies, orchids, carnations, spray roses, and regular roses are all varieties that last a long time.


3. Keep Things Simple

I tend to have very simple flower arrangements because this is my personal preference. Plus, unless you have some training, creating complex floral arrangements is hard!

You can create an eye-catching display with just one type of impactful flower. This cuts down on cost and also keeps things easy for you!

vignette with white pumpkins on a cake stand and white pitcher with white hydrangea and transferware with ironstone sugar bowl

3. Cut & Water Properly

Always cut at least an inch off the bottom of your stems using a sharp knife. The key is to not crush the stem. Also cut at a 45 degree angle so that you increase the surface area for water absorption!

pink roses in an antique trophy with a plate holding a pearl necklace below

3. Feed Your Flowers & Ditch the Leaves

To make your flowers last longer, always use the food packet that comes with them.  Also, remove the leaves so that all of the flower’s resources can go to the bud itself.  If you want some of the leaves, leave just a couple but ensure they are above the water line. Of course, you can always add green stems to your arrangement.

4. Think Beyond the Standard Vase

Part of what makes an arrangement beautiful and “work” within your decor is the vase itself!  But don’t limit yourself to a standard vase and instead, consider using anything that is water-tight, including trophies, champagne buckets, pitchers, drinking glasses, sugar bowls, and even egg cups!

5. Dry Your Beautiful Buds

When your flowers begin to die, don’t throw them out!  Instead, dry them!  Some flowers dry nicer than others, so I’m partial to roses and hydrangeas.  When I dry roses, I usually just leave in the vase and let them dry just as they are.  To dry hydrangeas, you can follow my drying guide.

antique black french urn filled with green dried hydrangea and small orange and white pumpkins at base

And don’t forget, branches and clippings from your yard work beautifully indoors, too!


More Decorating Tips

Don’t you think that flowers say a lot about your personality and style?  What’s your favorite flower to decorate with?

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  1. I love your suggestions for flower arrangements!!! Your pictures are perfect with the elements of different colors. We have a Trader’s Joe near us. I must start going there for flowers. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  2. Kim,
    I typically get my flowers from the market or Trader Joe’s (another market) unless there’s some abundance of roses in my yard. I love the Iceberg roses that grow in my backyard since they are less formal. Hydrangea, peonies and ranunculus are favorites, along with stock and alstroemeria.
    Great ideas here.

  3. Your pictures are beautiful! My favorite flowers are peonies (obviously, look at my blog name!) and ranunculus. I have planted a bunch of ranunculus so hopefully this Spring I will have free ones to pick!! I don’t have too many shady spots for peonies :(

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Both gorgeous flowers! Smart idea planting your own so that you have them available to you to pick! I hope they bloom nicely for you!! :)

      1. My peonies are pretty much in full sun and they do fine. But I am in Colorado, not sure where you are!

  4. I buy roses and peonies when I can afford them…If I were rich, I would have them around my house, always.

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      I wish I had them around all the time, too! Really, I only buy them when I’m photographing or if we’re having guests over. I keep meaning to garden more so that I can have fresh cut flowers, but somehow, I never get around to it….Lol! :)

  5. I love flowers and was a floral designer. I love all kinds of flowers to decorate with, my problem is our grocery stores don’t carry the really nice flwers and if they do they are very expensive! I have a Trader Joe’s but it is 45 mins away so don’t get there often. LOVE evry one of your pictures. A tip for drying hydrangeas, but them in late summer JUST as they are starting to turn clor. Put them in a bucket of water with about 2 inches of water in it and put that in the garage. When the water evaporates, the hydrangeas will be dry. I have done this for years! Great post!!!

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Pinky – Thank you so much for the hydrangea drying tip! I’ve had luck just drying them in my closet but I’m going to try your technique this summer….if my hydrangea blooms this year, that is! I forgot to prune it last summer… :(

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