How to Salvage Wilting Dahlias

August 27, 2014

We’ve all been there, the day of your wedding you check on the flowers and those pesky Dahlias are bruised, wilted, or just falling apart. Oh no! The day is ruined! How can we go on, right?! Actually, you have nothing to fear! While working on a wedding this month, we decided to put the petals of a few Dahlias in jars for the bride to use as she pleased. The petals were already falling off and we figured, hey, why risk it? What we didn’t realize, is how GORGEOUS the Dahlias would turn out after we pulled the petals off. Don’t believe me? You should! And just in case you want to do it yourself, here’s a tutorial of what we did!

Step 1: Buy, cut and clean Dahlias.

This step seems pretty straightforward.. I think we’ve all got the buying part down, but if anyone is confused about what we mean by “cut and clean” it simply means to give each stem a sharp, fresh cut at the bottom (on an angle so the stem doesn’t sit at the bottom of the vase and block any water flow) and to remove any leaves that fall below the waterline; removing leaves that will rest in the water will prevent your flowers from sitting in dirty, rotten water. Everybody following so far? Great!

Step 2: Remove petals.

Again, fairly self explanatory, but the key to this is to be gentle in removing the petals. Grab only a couple petals at a time and gently pull away from the center of the flower until you feel them give. Once a few petals are removed, you’ll start to see green “petals”, be sure not to pull these as they are the key to salvaging the flowers. (You can see the green “petals” in the picture below if you’re confused!) After you’ve removed several of the petals, you can start to take creative license with how “naked” you want your Dahlias to be. For the wedding where we made the discovery, we left a few purple petals in the center to add some flair to them.

Step 3. Get creative with your petals!

Now after all that hard work pulling off the petals, you definitely won’t want to just throw them away! We put the petals in cute Mason jars, but there are endless possibilities for what you can do with them. Give them to your flower girl to sprinkle along the aisle, spread them out around placecards or favors, even lay them on your cake in lieu of cake flowers!

As Momma says, “there is a solution to every problem” and she could not be more right, especially when it comes to flowers! Next time you find your Dahlias drooping, try this method and show us the results! Or try it out with a different flowers and let us know how it went!!

Cheers, y’all!

Sammi