Simple ways to help make cut flowers last longer

make cut flowers last longer

I love flowers, and it’s a shame if they don’t last more than a few days. They always brighten up the room, and it’s a joy just to look at them and watch them bloom, do you agree? :)

To help your flowers last as long as possible, here are a few tips on keeping your flowers looking fresher longer.

Facts to understand and care about your flowers:

  • A flower is separated from its life support system once cut from the main plant – it’s main source of water and its root system
  • Bacteria start to grow and start to plug the tiny stem tubes that conduct water to the flower
  • Did you know, within 3 hours there will be 30 million bacteria in the vase!? Sick right!
  • What happens then? Buds will fail to open, necks weaken and bend, and leaves wilt

Commercial floral preservatives

  • These little sachets are chemical mixtures used to extend the life of flowers, they contain biocide, an acidifier and sugar
  • Biocide kill the bacteria, yeasts and fungi
  • An acidifier lowers the water pH so it is closer to the pH of the plant sap to help the movement of water and food more easily
  • Sugar to nourish the flowers

Give your flowers some food, love and care

1. Make homemade plant food:

  • Clear, not colored lemon-lime soft drinks (not diet) to water: it contains citric acid and carbonation which helps the flower take in the sugar. So if you have some soda in the house, use 1 part soda to 3 parts water
  • Medicinal-type mouthwash like Listerine to water: Listerine helps kill the bacteria, contains sucrose (food) and a bactericide. It is acidic and can help water move up the cut stem. Use two tablespoons per gallon of water

2. Change the water daily: this will keep it fresh and eliminate mould, debris and bacteria

3. Trim stems at a 45 degree angle: this will open up the stem to help increase water absorption as the original wound site will be callous and sealed off over time causing the flowers to dry out. Trim daily or every other day to ensure the flowers get a steady flow of nutrients and water. Cut the stems under water in a bowl, this will prevent any extra air from going into the stems.

4. Use a sharp pair of scissors or a sharp knife: with a sharp pair of scissors as dull blades will crush the stem and damage it which will in turn, prevent them from absorbing the water.

5. Remove the leaves below the water level: this will quickly deteriorate and promote mould, so remember to remove them, you’d be surprised how much this will help in keeping the water clearer.

6. Keep flowers at a cooler temperature: this will help keep them fresh longer as you may recall florists storing their flowers in large refrigerators. Every night you can move them at a cooler spot, or even the fridge.

7. Quick or slower bloom? The temperature makes a difference. To keep them longer, use cold water or even add an ice cube or two. For your blooms to open faster, fill your vase with warm water.

8. Lastly, keep your flowers away from direct sunlight

Do you have any other interesting tips to share?


truly c -long


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