As we move into a season of receiving fresh flowers as gifts, it’s only fitting that you know how to keep those beautiful flowers lasting longer.
While Rozanne encourages gifting potted flowers instead of a bouquet, because they last longer and are economical, sometimes loved ones bring home bouquets, or we want to showcase the beauty from our own gardens as flowers to begin to bloom.
Here are Rozanne’s top tips for keeping fresh-cut flowers lasting longer.
Timing is everything
If you cut some blooms from your garden to showcase inside, cut them in the early morning. The flower’s stems are filled with water and carbohydrates and are firm to the touch. As the day warms up, flowers begin to dehydrate.
It’s all in the arrangement
Make sure your vase is clean and free from dirt and other bacteria. Then start to make your arrangement. Cut your stems at an angle, removing at least one inch. Make sure to use a sharp knife or clippers as opposed to scissors.
Remove any leaves that fall below the water line. If left, they will rot, creating a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Keep leaves along the stem length, as these help the flowers with their hydration.
Feed and water them properly
When you add water to your vase, make sure it is clean and lukewarm. It should be between 100°F to 110°F. The molecules in warm water move quicker than in cold water, so they are absorbed by flowers more easily. With warm water, your flowers are getting the nutrients faster.
One exception to using warm water is with bulbs. These flowers, including tulips and hyacinths, need cold water.
Add in the flower food that was provided if it is a store-bought bouquet. Follow the directions on the package for the amount to use.
Placement in your home
Put your arranged flowers in a well-controlled temperature space in your home. Avoid areas that receive hot drafts. Keep the vase away from radiators, television sets or direct sunlight. Heat increases water loss, reducing the length of a flower’s life.
Just like plants in your garden, fresh flowers need a good drink. Check the water in your vase everyday and refill as needed. If the water starts to get cloudy, replace it with fresh, lukewarm water. As water gets low, you can also add in more flower food as needed. If the flowers begin to go limp, recut the stems.
Unconventional tips to try
There are some unconventional tips that could help extend the life of your fresh-cut blooms.
Sear the stems in a pan
Some flowers, such as poinsettia and euphorbia, need to have their ends seared before being placed into an arrangement. To sear, put the stem in boiling water for 30 seconds or apply a flame from a match for 30 seconds. Each time the flowers are cut, sear the ends again.
Spray blooms with hairspray
It’s good for more than just making your hair look good. Take your favourite bottle of hairspray and lightly spritz the petals from a few inches away. Just a small amount of hairspray should help keep the flowers from wilting and dying.
Keep flowers in the refrigerator
Every night, stick your vase in the refrigerator. In the morning, you can take them out and display them again. The cold temperatures can help the flowers live longer.
Even with all the above tips and tricks, fresh-cut flowers will always have a short shelf life, compared to potted plants. Container gardening allows for portability and creativity in any indoor or outdoor space. Have you had success with any unconventional tips to keep your flowers living longer? Share your go-to tips when displaying fresh-cut flowers in your home on our Facebook page.