Tips and Advice To Keep Your Flowers and Bouquets Fresher For Longer.
There is a special joy in receiving flowers, whether it’s a red rose from the local florist or a fistful of dandelions from your daughter. Flowers, especially the intention behind them, mean so much.
Unfortunately though, flowers can wilt if not treated correctly .We all know the delight of receive beautiful flowers and the need to do something to prolong their lives . Here are some tips for keeping them looking fresh longer.
When you receive your flowers remove any packaging that may be protecting the stems, if the bouquet is arranged with pretty papers it may be best to leave this around the flowers to protect the arrangement, often if you break up the bouquet it wont look as beautiful as when it arrived, with your sharpest scissors or knife re cut the exposed stems by at least 5 cm, if the stems are long cut more length off.
- What’s the best way to cut flowers?
- Flowers keep best when cut with a sharp knife or sharp scissors (un-serrated) and then are plunged immediately into water. Always make the cut on a slant, as it exposes more stem surface area. Remove leaves that will be under water in the arrangement. (these will rot and create a bacteria source if left on the stems). Please don’t crush or bruise the stems.
- Maturity will also affects your flowers keeping qualities. Cut roses, irises, daffodils, lily, peonie, and gladiolas in bud stage. Marigolds, dianthus, and delphiniums should be open. After cutting, immediately put the flowers in room temperature water, not icy cold water.
- What’s in those little packets the florists give you?
- When a flower is cut from the mother plant, it is separated from its life support system. Just like an astronaut without a temporary life support system — it’s in trouble. Thus, nearly all commercial floral preservatives contain the basic components of the life support system for the cut flower: a biocide (explained below), an acidifier, and sugar.
- Biocides are chemicals that kill the bacteria, yeasts and fungi that feed on the sap that seeps from the cut flower stem. It’s an amazing sequence of events: You cut a rose stem and place it in a vase of water. Bacteria start to grow, and within 3 hours, there are 30 million bacteria in the vase! These bacteria plug the tiny straw-tubes that conduct water to the flower. As a result, buds fail to open, necks weaken and bend, and leaves wilt. The acid helps water move up the stem more easily and the sugar acts as a flower food.
Do old wives tales have any validity?
If you don’t like to use chemicals to prolong the life of your cut flowers, there are “natural” alternatives. Some methods work better than others.
Here’s some thoughts,
Does a copper coin and an aspirin tablet placed in the vase water really do any good? Some say the combination does keep flowers fresh longer. The theory is that the copper acts a fungicide and the aspirin makes the water more acidic. Here are more food + acid combinations:
- Add one part lemon-lime soda (not diet) to 3 parts water. Then to each quart of this solution, add 1/4 teaspoon bleach. Thereafter, add 1/4 teaspoon bleach after each 4 days of use.
- To 1 quart water add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon bleach.
- Add 2 ounces Listerine mouthwash per gallon of water. Listerine contains sucrose (food) and a bactericide. Listerine is acidic and is said to help water move up the cut stem.
- When all said and done the more proactive you are in looking after your cut flowers the more they will reward you with longevity, following on with these thoughts ….
No-nonsense ways to keep cut flowers longer
- Use plain, lukewarm water for most cut flowers, but use cold water for bulb flowers, such as daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips.
- Change the water every 2 days — don’t just top iy up. This is the single most effective thing you can do to keep your flowers looking fresh.
- Keep flowers out of direct sunlight, and move them to a cool place at night.
- Give daffodils their own vase — daffodil stems give off a compound that is toxic to other flowers.
- Keep cut flowers away from the fruit bowl, the fruit releases gasses that causes flowers to age faster.
- keep vase water for gerbera to a minimum and very fresh, change at least every two days, re trim stems each time you change the water.
- Keep your flowers away from gas heaters and heat sources in general cut flowers need to keep sucking up water and this can be hard if they are getting overheated as well.
- If you have more question please ring your florist as they are the professionals and often can suggest solutions to common flower dilemmas, above all else enjoy your flowers they are generally a lot hardier than one might expect.
- Flowers will give pleasure and well being wherever they are being admired, and enjoyed