How do you make grocery store flowers look nice?

Grocery store flowers can sometimes get a bad reputation for not being as fresh or long-lasting as florist flowers. But with the right care and styling, grocery store bouquets can look just as beautiful as flowers from a professional florist. The key is knowing what to look for when selecting your flowers, how to best care for them, and some simple styling techniques to maximize their beauty. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make inexpensive grocery store flowers look their absolute best.

What to Look for When Selecting Flowers

When choosing flower bouquets or stems from the grocery store, you’ll want to be selective and look for the healthiest blooms possible:

  • Look for flowers that have tightly closed buds that haven’t started to open yet. Flowers that are already partially open will have a shorter vase life.
  • Avoid flowers with browning, discolored or slimy stems. Healthy stems should be crisp and bright green.
  • Select flowers that don’t have many damaged petals or leaves. Some minor imperfections are normal but you want the flowers to look alive and vibrant.
  • Opt for flowers that haven’t started dropping pollen yet. You want the freshest flowers possible.
  • Give flowers a sniff – you want ones that have a fresh, sweet aroma. A strong odor means they are close to finished.
  • Look for bunches with the packet of flower food included. This will provide nutrients to maximize their water uptake and vase life.

Being choosy and starting with the best, freshest flowers you can find will give you a head start for arranging beautiful, long-lasting bouquets.

Caring for Store-Bought Flowers

Once you’ve brought your flowers home, properly caring for them is key to maintaining their beauty. Here are some tips:

  • Recut stem ends by about 1 inch with a sharp knife or garden shears. This opens up the stems to absorb more water.
  • Remove any leaves or petals that will fall below the water line in your vase. Leaves in water promote bacterial growth which shortens vase life.
  • Use floral food like the packets often included with bouquets. This provides nutrients and anti-bacterial protection.
  • Use clean, room temperature water in a thoroughly cleaned vase. Change water every 2-3 days.
  • Keep flowers in a cool, low-light spot away from heat vents or direct sun.
  • Mist flowers with water occasionally to hydrate blooms.
  • Remove any flowers that wilt or fade to prevent bacteria spread.

Proper post-purchase care will maximize the longevity of your flowers.

Arranging Store-Bought Flowers

With good quality flowers and proper care, the key to making grocery store flowers look beautiful lies in artful, thoughtful arranging.

Use All the Elements in a Bouquet

When working with a pre-made bouquet, make use of all the varied flowers, greenery and fillers it includes. Spread them out and give each stem space to shine instead of bunching them all together.

Utilize Greenery

Greenery like ferns, ivy and leafy stems give inexpensive bouquets an instant boost. Use greenery as a base in your arrangement and intersperse it between the blooms. Let soft tendrils and vines trail down the edges of the vase for a lovely effect.

Incorporate Fruit and Berries

Add visual interest and color with fresh fruit and berries on hand like lemons, limes, hypericum berries, crab apples or pepper berries. Their shapes and textures contrast beautifully with delicate flowers.

Use Interesting Vessels

Mason jars, vintage bottles, and unique flea market finds make better vases than traditional florist options. Let the vase make a style statement and elevate humble flowers.

Make Mini Arrangements

Small clusters of 2-4 stems in bud vases, tea cups or other dainty vessels look chic and let each bloom make an impact. Scatter them down a table or throughout a space for a polished look.

Find Decor Items to Complement

Incorporate decorative items that bring out colors and textures in the flowers. Try feathers, stones, vines, or candles for a harmonious finished look.

Style by Color

If your bouquet has a bold, vibrant color scheme, arrange the flowers to showcase that. For paler flowers, incorporate more greenery and decorative elements to add visual interest.

Highlight Focal Flowers

Every great arrangement benefits from a star flower that shines and makes a statement. With grocery store bouquets, mums, roses, sunflowers, or exotic flowers often fill this role. Place focal flowers front and center.

Elevate With Florist Details

Add special touches like floral tape, corsage pins, decorative ribbons, raffia, or wire to take arrangements to the next level like professional florists. Even inexpensive blooms get a boost from florist products and techniques.

Refresh and Refill

As flowers fade, pluck them out and add in fresh blooms so arrangements always look full. Snip stems and add more water too. A full vase of flowers looks lush and beautiful.

With the right selection, care strategies, styling methods and special touches, even inexpensive grocery store flowers can resemble high-end florist arrangements and bring joy to any space. A little TLC and floral creativity can go a long way!

Flower Varieties to Look For

When browsing the floral section of your grocery store, keep an eye out for these particular flower varieties that tend to look best when arranged:


An elegant classic, roses come in a rainbow of colors and look lovely as the focal flower in arrangements. Opt for tightly furled buds that will open over time.


Full, ruffly pom-pom blooms that last well and make a big visual impact. Spray varieties have lots of small blooms.


An affordable filler flower that comes in many colors. Long-lasting with a sweet, clove-like scent. Great for rounding out bouquets.


Large, showy flowers that convey luxury. Choose unopened buds and highlight oriental varieties.


Their elegant cup shape and rich color palette make tulips ideal for arrangements. Use multiples of the same color for impact.


The season’s showstoppers with huge, dinner plate-sized blooms. Especially stunning in autumnal colors.


Romantic, rose-like blooms with delicate layered petals in spring hues. Cluster in groups for full impact.

Gerbera Daisies

A bright, cheerful flower that’s fun and long-lasting. Available in many festive colors and patterns.


Their large, globe-shaped flower heads last incredibly well. Choose white, blues or purples for arranging.


Dainty lily-like blooms on long wiry stems. Available in wide range of colors to mix and match.

Best Greenery and Fillers

Complement your floral arrangements with these attractive greens, fillers and foliage:


Delicate, graceful fronds. Varieties like silver dollar fern add great texture.


Trailing vines that drape beautifully over the edges of vases.


Pretty silvery blue foliage that pairs well with all flower colors.

Leatherleaf Fern

Adds bold, architectural structure with its large leaves.


Fluffy, fine textured stems that softened arrangements.


Dark glossy leaves that contrast nicely with delicate flowers.

Baby’s Breath

Tiny blossoms that fill in flower arrangements with airy fullness.


Purple, blue and lavender flower spikes that dry well.


Bunches of petite yellow buds on wispy stems.

Seeded Eucalyptus

Trendy filler with clusters of showy seeded pods along stems.

Styling Inspiration for Store-Bought Bouquets

Take your grocery store flowers from just okay to positively stunning with these easy yet elegant styling ideas:

Natural, Garden Style

  • Choose a weathered terracotta pot or watering can as a rustic vase
  • Incorporate leaves, vines, moss, stones for an organic look
  • Mix rich autumn hues like burgundy, plum, orange
  • Arrange loose and free-flowing

Modern Monochromatic

  • Display in clear cylinder vase or geometric concrete planter
  • Stick to a refined single-color palette like white flowers + greenery
  • Keep stems evenly spaced in grid pattern
  • Add interest with line, shape and texture

Romantic Pastels

  • Use a vintage milk glass or cut crystal vase
  • Softer flowers in blush, lilac, ivory, mint
  • Accent with pearls, ribbon, lace
  • Let branches and vines meander at their will

Autumnal Warm Tones

  • Fill a ceramic jug, cider pitcher or pitcher
  • Deep fall flowers like maroon dahlias, orange roses, rust mums
  • Mix in fruit, mini pumpkins, gourds
  • Drape stems loosely for bountiful appeal

Tropical Brights

  • Low bowl or basket in terra cotta or rattan
  • Big, bold blooms like fuchsia anthurium, sunshine gerbera daisies
  • Accent with decorative pineapples, tropical leaves
  • Cram vase full for playful opulence

With the right vessel, thoughtful color story, and little accents, grocery store flowers can take on any style with beautiful results.

Caring for Specific Flower Types

To maximize the vase life of grocery store blooms, tailor your care methods to suit different flower varieties:

Flower Type Care Tips
  • Recut stems under water to avoid air bubbles
  • Use floral food to provide nutrients
  • Display out of direct sunlight
  • Mist blooms occasionally
  • Remove lower leaves and recut stem
  • Place in cool spot out of drafts
  • Add fresh water every 2-3 days
  • Gently wrap stems in paper or place in water tube
  • Display in a cool area
  • Change water frequently
  • Cut stems on an angle and remove leaves
  • Use a commercial flower food
  • Keep away from ethylene producing fruits
  • Recut stems and place immediately in deep water
  • Keep in a cool, shady spot
  • Mist flowers occasionally
  • Cut stems frequently to prolong vase life
  • Use water that is slightly acidic
  • Display out of direct sunlight

Each flower type has specific needs. Follow variety-specific care tips to maximize the longevity and display time of your bouquets.


While seen by some as inferior to florist flowers, grocery store blooms can look fabulous when properly selected, cared for, and artfully arranged. With smart strategies for buying the best quality blooms, post-purchase care, purposeful vase design, and flower-specific maintenance tips, inexpensive supermarket flowers can take on a luxurious, high-end appearance perfect for gifting or decorating your home. A touch of creativity paired with the right know-how makes it easy to stretch your flower budget and craft beautiful arrangements using grocery store finds.

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