10 Simple Ways To Keep Cut Flowers Fresh For Longer
Getting flowers as a gift is always a pleasure. Unfortunately, most fresh flowers don’t last very long, and it can be a big bummer when your flowers start losing their beauty after only a few days.
With that in mind, we at Bright Side have collected some of the best tips that will help you to extend the life of your fresh bouquets.
Put the flowers in a large clean container.
Always use a clean container. This trick will reduce the risk of bacteria and other microorganisms multiplying and infecting the flowers. To make sure that the stems of the flowers are not squeezed too tightly, choose vases with wide necks.
Place flowers in hot water.
Of course, boiling water won’t work. The temperature should be around 43-44 degrees Celsius. Pour the water into a vase with flowers, and place it in a cool location for an hour or two. Hot water molecules move faster through the stems, while the flowers lose less moisture because the air is cool. This method, called "hardening," helps to extend the life of freshly cut flowers.
If you don’t want to harden your flowers, use warm water.
If you are not using the previous method, simply place your bouquet in warm or room temperature water. Fresh cut flowers take up warm water more readily than cold. However, bulb flowers do best in cold water.
Remove lower leaves.
To make fresh cut flowers last longer, remove any leaves that fall below the waterline. Leaves submerged in the water can begin to rot very quickly, thus providing food for bacteria which can infect and damage the rest of the plant.
Change the water.
To keep your flowers fresh, replace the water every day. And don’t forget to remove all debris from the container before adding fresh water. This will reduce the risk of infection. You can also add a few aspirin tablets into a vase filled with water to help keep the water clean and free of flower-damaging bacteria.
Cut the stems at an angle.
Do not forget to cut the ends of the stems regularly. Use a sharp knife, and trim the stems at a 45º angle. This simple procedure will increase flowers’ ability to absorb water. It is also generally desirable to trim the stems of store-bought flowers immediately before placing them in water.
With more sensitive flowers such as roses, it’s best to cut their stems under the water. Roses are especially susceptible to air bubbles and bacteria that hinder the absorption of water and make the flowers fade more rapidly.
Use flower preservatives.
You can either buy this "flower food" at gardening supply stores or prepare it yourself. Floral preservatives contain the basic components that are necessary for prolonging the life of fresh cut flowers. Moreover, among their ingredients are biocides which prevent bacteria from spreading and infecting the plants.
One simple way to prepare a homemade preservative solution is by mixing citrus soda with bleach. For this, you’ll just need to add any carbonated drink containing sugar and acid to the water.
Use one part soda to three parts water, then add a few drops of bleach (not more!) to kill harmful microorganisms. In fact, this mixture can be much more effective than some commercial flower preservatives.
Keep the flowers away from direct sun, heaters, and fruit.
Find a place for your flowers that is not in direct sunlight or close to sources of heat, as either will stress the plants. You should also avoid placing cut flowers near a bowl with fruit, as these emit small amounts of ethylene, a gas that can cause flowers to deteriorate quickly.
Remove wilted flowers as soon as possible.
Remove any dead or fading blooms from the vase whenever you notice them. Otherwise, ethylene, the gas which is released not only by fruit but also by wilting plants, will damage the healthy flowers.
Arrange flowers properly.
Not all flowers should be allowed to inhabit the same water as other blooms. Fresh cut daffodils and hyacinths give off chemicals that are toxic to other plants, so it’s best to keep them in a separate vase.
If, however, in spite of all your efforts, your plants have started to fade, submerge them in warm water for a few minutes. This is the last chance to bring them back to life.