4 Ways To Keep Cut Flowers Alive Longer

Everyone loves fresh cut flowers from the garden, but they wilt and die so quickly. Even flowers bought from a florist or grocery store have the same results after a mere week. Here is a list of 4 tips to help you keep your flowers alive longer.

  1. Sear the stems. Searing has a miraculous effect on vase life, even if flowers have flopped- many flowers have a total recovery after searing. To sear, put 1 to 2-inches of boiling water into a mug to dip your stems in. The amount of stem that you keep in the water depends on the overall length. Putting 10 percent of the plant in is usually the beat amount. Any plant that looks floppy should have the stems seared for about 30 seconds, woody stems need a bit longer. Therefore, bluebells only need 10 seconds while lilacs need 30. With short-stemmed plants, wrap the flower in newspaper to keep away from the steam.
  2. Add flower food to water. This is an important step. You can buy proprietary brands in sachets to sprinkle in the vase at stores, or you can make your own. Tap water is alkaline, which is an ideal breeding ground for many bacteria. The flower food provides nutrients for the plants but also makes the water inhabitable for bacteria.
  3. Make your own flower food. In a 1-foot tall vase, use one teaspoon of bleach or about five tablespoons of cheap clear vinegar. One old wives’ tale suggests that you add aspirin, or half a cup of lemonade to your cut flower water. The aspirin contains salicylic acid; lemonade contains sugar and citric acid. Proprietary flower food also includes sugar. The sugar feeds the flowers but can also feed the bacteria. It is always a good idea to put a drop of bleach in water with strong smelling plants such as alliums, cleomes, and any brassicas to prevent their characteristic pong from developing.
  4. Give your flowers a break. All plants picked from the garden benefit from a rest before arrangements. This means giving the flowers a few hours , or even a full night, in a bucket of water in a cool dark place. Fill the buckets with tepid, not ice-cold water. The plants are more susceptible to absorb it more easily at this temperature. Giving plants a rest, increases vase life by a quarter or more.

Thank you to Sarah Raven from The Telegraph for the original information. You can read more here.

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