How To Care for Fresh Flowers So They Last Longer

So, your loved one has sent you some awesome fresh flower bouquet! And now when you have reveled in its fragrance, its arrangement and showed it off to everybody, it is time to give it a home, where you can keep it cozy, fresh and alive for as much time as you can.

Here are a few tips that can help you prolong the life of cut flowers!

Cutting the Stems with Right Tools

Cut the stems by 1 inch. However, refrain from using household scissors. Use shears, knives or clippers to cut flowers. Using a household scissor, which is apt to cut paper or clothes can crush the vascular system of stems, hence preventing the water intake and doing just the opposite you intended to.

Slice the stem at about 45 degree. This ensures better absorption of water.

Keep taking the dead petals, foliage from the water.  The foliage can increase the bacterial growth and shortens the vase life of cut flowers.

Put the cut waters in lukewarm water. The lukewarm water is absorbed by the flowers easily and quickly.  However tulips and hyacinths prefer cold water.

Use floral preservatives given by the florist or go for DIY preservatives. These keep fungi and bacterial growth in check and enhance the process of water intake and nutrient absorption in cut flowers.   The preservatives address three basic requirements of flowers by regulating pH balance of water, increasing water intake, regulating cell metabolism and preventing the bacterial growth.

These floral food or preservatives fix cut flowers with the nutrients which they would otherwise get from the plant.


DIY Floral Preservative:

  • Mix 2 cups of 7-Up with half teaspoon of chlorine bleach and 2 cups of lukewarm water! Easy, peasy!
  • Take 1 tablespoon of sugar, half tablespoon of chlorine bleach, 2 cups of lukewarm water and mix them to make a preservative!
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar and sugar each to be mixed with 2 cups of lukewarm water and half teaspoon of chlorine bleach for a quick fix for your fresh flower bouquet!
  • If you are too lazy, crush half of an aspirin or mix a pinch of sugar in the water.  And people have experienced vodka and 7-up doing the same wonder to cut flowers as well.


Stem Matters!

The care of flowers depends hugely on the stem of flowers such as milky, soft, woody, hearty or hollow!

Hearty Stems such as daisies and marigolds need more water and hence, it is recommended to leave them in lukewarm water.

Tulips and iris have soft stems need to be placed in cold water and low temperature to prolong their life.

Pear, lilac and dogwood have woody stems and you should split the stems to allow more absorption of water.

Flowers with milky stems such as daffodils need to keep separated in the flower arrangement as the milky secretion can be harmful to other flowers. If you still want to go ahead, keep the stems in boiling water for 30-50 seconds.

Arrangement with Cut Flowers:

If you have ordered cut flowers for DIY floral arrangement, keep in mind to keep the height proportional to the size of the vase. The height of cut flowers should be one and a half times to the height.  Always go for a design that could hold the circle together.  The centre of the design should only consist of one flower.

General Tips for the Care of Cut Flowers:

While you can’t get enough of flowers, your vase certainly has some capacity.

Keep changing water on regular intervals.

Maintain water level base.

Discard wilted petals and foliage.

Keep the flower arrangement away from sunlight and fruits. Fruits emit ethylene gas, which expedites wilting process in flowers. 

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