Flowers don’t last forever once they’re cut – but it’s possible to make them last longer and look fresher with a few simple tips
Receiving flowers is one of the greatest pleasures in life. There is nothing quite like the smell and feel of a flower and so it’s hardly surprising that the flowers market in the US hit $4370 million in 2015, according to the Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association.
The question is, though, how to keep those flowers alive for as long as possible. If they’re wedding flowers that it’s even more important. Luckily, there are some old fashioned, tried and trusted tips that can help anyone looking to keep their cut flowers looking fresh and healthy.
It sounds obvious but the first thing to do is to keep the flowers in water. As soon as the flowers are picked or bought in the store, let them have a drink and ensure that they’ve got plenty of water – the current fashion is to use a small amount of water because people think it looks more elegant but flowers prefer plenty of fresh, clean water.
It’s important to start by removing any leaves that would be under the water level, as they’ll soon begin to rot very quickly and breed bacteria. They’ll also discolor the water more quickly which is ugly and can cause odors after a while.
Cutting Flowers to the Right Length
Cut off about an inch from the bottom of each stem just to freshen up the stem and make it easier for the fleshy parts to start absorbing water. Make the cuts at about a 45 degree angle as this increases the surface area that is being exposed to the water.
According to the Proflowers, it’s a good thing to do this underwater so that air bubbles do not enter the stem which can cause flowers to wilt. Some flowers with hard stems like roses will certainly need to have the ends cut off.
It’s a good thing to make sure the water is not too cold – most people don’t like taking cold baths and showers and it’s the same for flowers. Similarly, anyone watering house plants or shrubs should include a drop of hot water in the jug or bucket just to take the chill off and avoid shocking the flowers.
Make sure that the vase is big enough – squashing flowers into a small space will increase the danger of their stems breaking and rotting.
Avoid putting flowers in direct sunlight or somewhere too warm such as above a radiator or a TV as this will cause them to wilt and the leaves to drop off faster.
Always Use Plant Food
Always use the plant or flower food that usually comes with cut flowers these days, sometimes in the form of a white powder or sometimes as a colorless liquid.
It’s a good idea to change the water regularly and once the plant food has run out, an old trick is to use a teaspoon of sugar by dissolving in fresh water and then adding the flowers. Some experts believe that Coca Cola or Sprite work well because they have sugar and caffeine which helps keep the flowers fresh longer.
It’s easy just to put some flowers in a vast and then leave them until they die but making a little bit of an effort will ensure that they stay alive longer – providing more pleasure and offering better value for money.