As every good home florist knows, you're supposed to change the water in a vase of flowers every few days.
Provided there are actual flowers in the vase that is. This apparently keeps the flowers fresher. I'm not convinced. Plus I can't be bothered. So I don't do this.
However, there are a few flowers that develop a certain pungency to their water. Gladiolas for instance. And sunflowers to name another. It usually takes 4 or 5 days for the water and stems to steep to the point of smelling like a a partially digested mouse that a 90 year old toothless man with an ulcer threw up.
For these flowers, I sometimes break my "can't be bothered" rule and change the water. It's usually easy enough to do, but when you have a huge or an intricate flower arrangement it can be a bit of a challenge. Ditto for when you have something on the bottom of the vase like pebbles or rocks or seashells or whatever tickles your armpit.
For those times I use a little trick I learned while syphoning gas from my parents' cars as a teenager. With a few modifications of course. Please enjoy.
The Art of Changing Flower Water
How to change the water in a large vase using a rubber tube.
It's not a trick I use a lot, but when I do pull my hose out, for just such an occasion, I'm glad I have it. If I had tried to change the water in this vase by dumping it into the sink, my flowers would have fallen out, the rocks would have been clanging on the side of the vase, I would have been swearing and my cats would still be hiding under the bed. Possibly my boyfriend too.
So what are you waiting for? Go buy a tube.