It's common for people to feel frustrated when a bouquet doesn't last long once they bring it home. However, it's important to remember that fresh cut flowers are living entities that can be encouraged to thrive for a longer period with the right care. To help your flowers last longer, consider the following tips.
Tip 1: Keep the water replenished regularly. Completely change the water every 2-3 days.
Flowers have a high water intake! It's not uncommon for a large flower arrangement to consume all the water in a vase within the first day or two at home. To prevent them from drying out and wilting, make sure to keep the vase filled. Even if the water hasn't been completely used up, changing it every few days will help maintain the freshness of your flowers for a longer time. For larger formal arrangements, carefully tilt the vase over a sink to allow the water to drain without disturbing the design. Then, gently pour water from the top of the flowers to refill the vase.
Tip 2: Before you place your flowers in a vase, make sure to trim at least half an inch off the stems.
This simple step is crucial for maintaining their freshness and longevity. When flowers are out of water, the ends of the stems dry out and cells start to die, hindering their ability to absorb water effectively. By cutting the stems just before placing them in water again, you expose fresh tissue that can readily absorb water. Additionally, when you change the water in the vase a few days later, trimming the stems removes any deteriorating tissue at the tips and once again exposes fresh tissue, ensuring optimal water absorption.
Tip 3: Ensure that your flowers are kept away from heat and excessive light.
It may be tempting to place your vase of flowers on a sunny windowsill, as one would do with potted plants. However, cut flowers have different needs. They are already at the peak of their beauty and freshness, and exposure to sunlight and warmth can accelerate their aging process. For maximum longevity, it is best to store your cut flowers in a cool, dark location. This will help preserve their exquisite charm for as long as possible.
Tip 4: Avoid placing your flowers next to ripening fruits or vegetables, especially bananas and apples.
Ripening fruit emits an odorless, invisible gas called ethylene. While harmless to humans, this gas can be detrimental to flowers. Let's delve into the science behind it: in the plant kingdom, flowers serve as precursors to fruit. Once a flower is pollinated, it transforms into a fruit to initiate the plant life cycle anew by forming seeds. Ethylene is the gaseous hormone responsible for this transformation, causing the flower to shed its petals and develop into a fruit. As the fruit ripens, it continues to emit ethylene. When you position your vase of flowers near ripening fruit, you expose them to this gas, prompting them to follow Mother Nature's course and shed their petals.
Tip 5: Once you discard your previous floral arrangement, ensure you meticulously clean the vase or container using hot soapy water, or for even better results, utilize your dishwasher.
Bacteria accumulates in unclean vases and doesn't disappear even when the vase dries out. Once water is added again, the vase becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, putting your new bouquet at risk of the same fate as the previous one. Provide your flowers with a fresh and bacteria-free environment, and they will enjoy a longer lifespan.
Tip 6: For optimal care, use "flower food" for the majority of flowers.
While changing the water every other day or so can be effective in prolonging the lifespan of flowers, using flower food packets that often come with packaged flowers can provide additional benefits. This is especially advantageous if you tend to forget or are too lazy to change the water regularly. Apart from nourishing the bouquet, these food packets also contain a bactericide that helps keep the water fresh for a day or two longer. Alternatively, you can create your own flower food by adding approximately 1 teaspoon of bleach to your vase, followed by about a quart of warm tap water. It is worth noting that there are a few flowers, such as zinnias, sunflowers, and glass, that do not respond well to flower food in the vase.
Tip 7: When cutting, it is recommended to use sharp scissors for optimal results.
When trimming your flowers, using dull old scissors or snips can result in smashing and damaging the tissue and cells at the stem's end. Damaged cells are less effective at absorbing water compared to healthy cells. To ensure a clean cut that leaves cells unharmed, it's important to use sharp scissors.
To obtain further guidance on caring for exquisite floral varieties, consider seeking advice from a reputable local florist.