Fresh cut flowers bring beauty and pleasure wherever they are, and keeping cut flowers fresh longer gives you longer to enjoy them. How to keep fresh cut flowers fresh as long as possible is fairly straightforward, and this article will explain the process you should go through to extend the life of your flowers, to extend your enjoyment of them. So what is the best way to keep cut flowers fresh the longest?
When you get the flowers home
As soon as you have the flowers at home you should put them in fresh water. Unwrap them, or remove them from the water they’re in. You’re going to cut about an inch off the stems. You should cut at about a 45 degree angle, and not straight across – flowers take up water through the stem, and cutting at an angle gives a greater area through which the flower will absorb water. Make sure you use a sharp knife or sharp shears – you don’t want to crush the stem, instead you want to make a clean through cut. Be sure to remove any foliage that will be in or under water – all you want in the water is the stem, no buds or leaves.
Once you’ve cut the stems, pick a clean vase (if you need to clean one, wash with hot water and detergent, and rinse well.) We recommend glass, ceramic or hard plastic; not metal, which can sometimes interact with the chemicals that you’ll be mixing in with the water.
Fill the vase to the appropriate height with fresh-drawn cool water. Florists may use warm water to revive wilting flowers, but cool temperatures help to prolong the life of flowers; why do you think many flowers are stored and transported in a refrigerator before finally being made into a bouquet? It keeps them fresher, longer. Into this water you should mix the sachet of powder that came with your flowers (if you often have flowers in the house, you can pick up cut flower preservative at the grocery store.) We do not recommend you use anything other than commercial preservatives; these contain not only food for the flower (usually sucrose), but also a fungicide, a bactericide and an acidifer. You’ll have better success with commercial preservatives.
Now you can arrange the flowers in the vase, being sure to leave space around each individual blossom. Crowding them all in together doesn’t just look unappealing, but can reduce their lifetime too.
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Choose the location carefully
The right location will also help extend the life of your cut flowers. Keep out of direct strong, mid-day sunlight. Place your vase well away from extremes of temperature, being particularly careful to avoid high heat. Heaters, heating vents, cooking surfaces, and hot televisions sap the life from flowers.
Position the vase away from fruit; apples and other fruit give off ethylene gas, which will shorten the life span of your flowers.
To extend the life of your flowers as long as possible, you should recut the stems and change the water (adding preservative) daily. If your flowers are particularly thirsty, you can add water between your daily trimming; you should also think about the location in which the flowers are being displayed, as high temperatures will cause high water absorption and transpiration. Consider moving them.
Pinch out or cut off any fading blooms, to ensure the flower’s remaining energy is going into maintaining the healthy blooms, or helping buds or developing flowers to mature.
By following these simple steps you’ll be sure of keeping your flowers alive and vibrant for as long as possible, enabling you to enjoy their shape, color and fragrance.