Before placing the flowers in a vase/container it is advisable to cut the stem of each flower with a sharp knife and remove about 2-3 cms from the end. Cutting with a knife as opposed to secateurs or scissors will create a larger area ensuring maximum uptake of water. It is also a good idea to remove any leaves, which will be below the water before placing in a vase.
Vases/Containers -It is very important that the flowers are placed into a clean vase to prevent any bacteria affecting the flowers. Gerberas in particularly last longer when placed in a clean container.
Water -You may be surprised at the amount of water that flowers require to remain healthy. Add luke warm water to a vase/container as opposed to cold water from the tap. Keep the water topped up every 2-3 days should be sufficient. If you have used flower food do not throw the water away, just add to the existing water. If you receive a gift where the flowers have been arranged in foam (oasis) you can keep the arrangement fresh by adding water to the oasis every 2-3 days but be careful not to add too much or you make create some spillage. Place the arrangement on a place mat to ensure protect the underlying surface.
Flowers will last longer if they are displayed away from direct sunlight and draughty areas. (However if you want the flowers to open up quickly then placing the flowers in a warm room, will speed this process up).