Nothing brightens up a room the way fresh-cut flowers do. They smell great, as well. No matter where your bouquet of flowers is from, your significant other, your friend, the grocery, the local florist, or your own home garden, flowers can make a great centrepiece that will give colour and life to any place or room.
The only downside to keeping or giving flowers is that they do not last that long. In the worst cases, leave them for a couple of hours and you’ll come back to withered, browning petals that glooms up a place instead of doing the opposite. However, there are certain things you can do to prolong the life of your fresh-cut flowers. With these tips and tricks, you can make flowers last twice as long and keep them fresh for longer.
The first thing you should know is how to properly prepare the flowers.
Tip #1: Fresh roses or not? You can tell whether the roses from your local florist or from the grocery store are freshly cut or not by gently squeezing the portion where the petals meet the top of the stem. If they’re firm, it’s fresh. Otherwise, if they’re soft and squishy, those roses are old.
Tip #2: Keep in water. Always keep the flowers in water, preferably warm since flowers more readily absorb warm water. If you’re cutting flowers from your own garden, bring a bucket of warm water in the garden with you and directly place the flowers in the bucket after cutting. At the very least, if you’re buying from somewhere, wrap the bottom of the stems with damp paper towels.
Tip #3: Remove leaves. Before placing in a vase, remove any greenery such as leaves from the bottom part of the stem that will submerge in the water.
Tip #4: Trim the stem. Cut off about 1-2 inches of the stem at a 45° angle while it’s submerged in water or while it’s under running water. Use a sharp knife or garden shears to get a clean cut.
Tip #6: Clean the vase. Always properly wash your vase in warm water and soap then rinse well before using it to get rid of the microorganisms that will slime up the stored water in the vase and speed up the flowers’ death.
Tip #7: Choose a location. Keep your flowers away from direct sunlight and heat. Flowers will last longer if kept at a cooler and darker room.
Tip #8: Maintenance. Trim a bit off of the stems in the same way every day or every other day to keep a steady flow of water. Change the water in the vase every time you re-cut the stems. Mist the flowers daily.
There are also certain tricks that people swear by to keep flowers looking and staying fresh for longer.
Trick #1: Bleach. Add a small amount of bleach, about ¼ teaspoon per quart of water, to the water in the vase to keep it clean and minimize the growth of microorganisms.
Trick #2: Soda. Some people use lemon-lime soda instead of water for their flowers and they guarantee that it makes the flowers last for up to 2 weeks. If you’d like to try it, fill your vase with as much Sprite or 7-Up as you would with water. Alternatively, you can use lemon-lime soda mixed with water.
Trick #3: Penny for Tulips. Putting a penny at the bottom of a vase of tulips is believed to keep the flowers standing straight and it does seem to work. Perhaps it would work with other flowers as well?
Trick #4: Sugar. Sugar can help nourish the flowers, especially those that haven’t bloomed yet. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar in the vase of water.
Trick #5: Vinegar. Adding 2 tablespoons of white vinegar into the water will inhibit the growth of bacteria.