07/23/2012 06:58 EDT | Updated 09/06/2012 04:55 EDT

Keep Flowers Fresh Longer: 10 Tips From Floral Architect Bruno Duarte

We've always had a tempestuous relationship with flowers: when we first buy bouquets they're beautiful and full of life, but, after a little bit (re: only living in our homes for a few days), they seem to wither and wilt or die.

According to Bruno Duarte, a Floral Architect at Fresh Floral Creations in Toronto, the problem we suffer from could be we're not giving our flowers the love they need when we first purchase them. (Uhhhh, you mean we can't just snip a flower's stem and plop it in water? Apparently not.)

To guide us along a road toward greener thumbing, we recruited Duarte and nabbed his 10 tips for making the most of our florals' lifespans.

Check out his tips below, and if you have any bits of advice you want to add, let us know on Twitter @HuffPostCaStyle.

10 Tips To Keep Flowers Fresh Longer

Cut Your Flowers' Stems...

Always re-cut flowers before putting them in water. Flower stems grow a pseudo-seal at their base after snipping -- when left out of water for a good period of time, they'll stop drinking the water in a vase.

But Cut Them Properly

When cutting stems, always cut on an angle so they're not sitting flush with the bottom of the vase -- this gives them more room to soak in watery goodness.

Water Can Be Too Cold

Only ever fill a vase with room-temperature water.

Arranging Flowers Is A Must

Plan your arrangement so it's compact and close together (i.e. buy enough flowers to ensure this happens). Grouping stems closer together will hold each in place, and water and nutrients will be distributed evenly.

Remove Loose Leaves

Try to remove as much foliage from the stems as possible. Foliage in the water will cause bacteria to grow and your flowers will die sooner.

Stems Are Different

When cutting woody stems, such as hydrangea stems, always cut them higher up the stem -- same goes for flowering branches in the spring.

For Delicate Flowers Like Tulips...

Use cold water; prick the stem below the tulip bloom to help keep them sitting straight. Another trick? Put pennies in the water. The copper keeps them from growing in all different directions.

Open Your Roses

A simple trick with roses is to run your thumb along the back of the petals one by one. This will help the petals stay open -- they may even double in size.

Small Stems Deserve Special Care

For smaller stems, like Orchids, use a water pick (a plastic container with a pointed end that can be stuck into the soil in a planter) on the stem then insert the flower into the arrangement. Orchids are not big water drinkers and can be left to bloom for five days without topping up the pick's water. If you use this technique for roses that have broken off the stem, add water every day to the water pick.

Play With Colour

When selecting flowers always select one to two colours plus your greenery to give your arrangement a more elegant and modern look. You want your flowers to look clean and simple and not overly designed. Also, don't be afraid to experiment with different vases or to place flowers in different areas of your home. Fresh flowers always change the energy and feel of a room.