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How to Choose Fall Flowers That Last Longer: 3 Simple Tips

by | Updated: Nov 5, 2021

How to pick longer-lasting flowers

When you’re strolling through the garden center or dashing into the grocery store and all those pretty flowers are smiling up at you, it’s hard not to choose the showiest flowers you see.

“Well, helloooooo there.”

But if you’d like your fall flowers to last longer, hold up!

There are ways to choose flowers that last longer… and hint, this means resisting the urge to buy the flowers that look the prettiest.

TIP 1: Look for the flower plants with a lot of new buds (rather than just open blooms)

Do you see the yellow mum plant below?

The flowers have opened and are gorgeous.

But because these flower blooms have already opened, they likely won’t last as long when you get them home.

They’ve already used up some of their bloom time.

Avoid buying flowers if the plant has a lot of open blooms but no buds.

Instead, look for plants that resemble this second set of mums (below).

Do you see how this plant has lots of new buds?

These flowers should last longer for you when you get them home because these flower blooms haven’t opened yet.

Look for flower plants that have a lot of new buds.

How to choose mums if you want them to last longer

You can use this tip when buying annuals OR perennials

I use this tip when I pick annuals (the one-season flowers) for my flowerpots in the spring and in the fall.

I also use it when buying perennials (the flowers that come back every year) for my garden.

If you want your flowers to last longer, it helps to look for plants with new buds. They don’t always look the prettiest in the store, but that’s just because they haven’t fully opened yet.

Plants with new buds last longer in their color.

But what if you aren’t sure what color the flowers are going to be?

Great question!

Sometimes it’s hard to know what the color is when the flowers haven’t opened yet.

Tip #2: There are several ways to figure out flower color

  1. Look for any open flowers on the plant.
  2. Check the plant tag to see if the plant tag lists the color. Sometimes, the flowers have the color in their name or in the photo on the tag.
  3. You can check the nearby plants. If the same type of flower has already opened, you can see the color.

A mum plant with a lot of new buds.

Tip #3: For many flowers, their blooms don’t last as long when it’s hot

Where I live in Colorado, we can get heat waves well into the fall.

It may be the same where you live too.

If you want to buy fall flowers — like mums — and you want them to last as long as possible, you may not want to buy them the week that blazing hot temperatures are in the forecast.

Those flowers tend to go through their blooms quickly when it’s hot, meaning they won’t last as long.

Just a lil’ something to think about!

Related tips that may interest you:

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Ann from Go West Gardener with her flowerpots and garden

Hey there, I'm Ann

I’m a Certified Colorado Gardener, dog mama and Midwesterner-turned-Colorado girl. I help budding gardeners in the intermountain west skip the “Why didn’t anyone tell me that phase?”, so they can get pretty results faster. More about Ann >>

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