How to make Cut Flowers Last Longer?
Buy flowers that will last well. They should not yet be fully open, as the next phase after flowering is fading! Get flowers that have some opening buds that show colour with other buds to follow. This means that your flowers look great from the beginning and that there will be more blooms as the earlier ones fade.
Check the cut bases of the stems to determine freshness. The main reason why flowers sometimes die before opening is that the conductive tissue that they use to transport water up the stem has become clogged. The cuts should look fresh and there shouldn't be any slimy material.
If you're fortunate enough to have a garden with beautiful blooms that you can bring into your home, you can control quality from the word go all by yourself.
The best time to cut your blooms from the plants is in the early morning. Take a bucketful of lukewarm water along to limit stress caused by water loss after cutting. Luke warm water is easier for the stems to absorb. Make the bucket fuller than you would your vase to help the stems drink up as much water as possible.
Choose healthy - looking blooms at various stages of development.
Keep your blooms out of direct sunshine and in a cool, draught free place until you can arrange them.
Ready-made arrangements and own arrangements
Begin by making sure that there is enough water in the vase. The ends of all the stems must be in the water, and the water-level will drop as the flowers drink it up, so add a little extra water to allow for this.
Flower arrangements shouldn't be too crowded because this will encourage fungal diseases that can make them go off sooner than necessary.
Re-cut the ends of the stems at a forty-five degree angle using a sharp pair of sheers before placing them in the arrangement. Angling the cut gives the stem more exposed surface area with which to absorb water.
Remove all leaves from the portions of the stem that are to be submerged.
Do the same thing with store bought cut flowers to ensure that any rotting ends are removed. If you want to be extra-careful, cut the stems underwater so that the supply of water to the blooms isn't interrupted.
Is it worth adding anything to the water?
One can buy sachets of cut flower food or make your own. Opinions vary, but most florists agree that adding a tablespoon of bleach or cheap vodka per litre of water will help to prevent the development of bacteria in the vase.
You can supplement this with a teaspoon of sugar. Sugar replaces the food that the flowers would usually get in their conductive tissue and gives the blooms more energy with which to grow.
It is also widely reported that adding a crushed Aspirin tablet to the water can be helpful.
Find the right place for your vase
Avoid placing flower arrangements in direct sun or where there is a breeze. This helps to limit evaporation and keeps your flowers fresh for longer. You can also limit evaporation by misting down the blooms and leaves with a fine spray of water, especially during the heat of the day.
Keep the bacterial levels down
Have you noticed how stinky water from old cut flowers can be? This is as a result of the bacteria that we need to prevent from blocking the conductive tissue of the stems.
I find that I get good life from my cut flowers as long as I change the water and cut a little off the ends of the stems every day.
Remove any dead or old material immediately to prevent the spread of bacteria to the healthy stems.
Refreshing the arrangement
As the blooms that opened first fade and are removed from the vase, your arrangement might start to look patchy before all the flowers are spent. Keep it looking good by adding fresh cut foliage or flowers from your garden.
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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )