Professional Florists Spill the Secrets to Keeping Flowers Fresh Longer
Whether it’s a flower bouquet you received for Valentine’s Day or something you bought on your own to decorate the living space, it’s natural to want them to stay fresh. But alas, nothing stays fresh forever. Without water, flowers cannot survive for a long time. Though it depends on the species and the temperature, flowers can wilt in just one day.
It does sound like a grim future for your newly purchased blooms but thankfully, there are some things you can do to extend the longevity of those petals.
Snip Them Again
When you buy flowers at the shop, they usually come in a ready-to-buy form. In other words, the flowers are already cut and not growing from the ground anymore. Even so, many florists would advise you to once again cut the stems as soon as you get home. Sounds odd? Not really.
Just like all living things, flowers possess a vascular system. It runs through the stems to absorb water and nutrients and transfer them to the petals. During your travel home, the flowers are not submerged in water. This causes air to be drawn into the stems and will block the water absorption once you put them in a watered vase. To prevent this from happening, cut at least one-half inch of the stems with sharp pruning shears.
Immediately after you cut it, submerge the flowers in the water to prevent more air bubbles from forming. It is advisable to arrange your flowers into a desirable shape before snipping it to prevent unnecessary movements after cutting. Tying an elastic band on the stems often help to keep the form as you cut them. Also, don’t forget to snip any foliage that will be located below the water as they can rot quickly and spread bacteria to other healthy parts of the flower.
Water Can Be Your Worst Enemy
You truly need to watch the water you’re introducing to fresh flowers. Otherwise, it can quicken their demise instead of extending their life. Giving flowers hot water is one of the worst mistakes you can make as it will essentially cook them. Room temperature water is best. However, slightly cool water can help flowers like daffodils and tulips last even longer.
It is also important to change the water every three to four days. As time goes by, the water will become polluted and filled with bacteria. This condition will hasten the death of your flowers. Remember to wash the vase as you change the water, as well, to remove debris that sticks to the vase wall.
Feed Your Flowers
Every florist has their own secret mixture of flower food. You can ask them to sell you some or you can try concocting this helpful packets on your own at home. Typically, flower food contains these three ingredients: sugar, acid, and antibacterial products. Sugar will provide nourishment to the flowers, while acid can keep the pH level low to reduce wilting and help the flowers absorb water better. The most common antibacterial products used for fresh flowers are bleach and spirits, such as vodka or gin. As for the acidic component, you can use citric acid from lemons or crushed vitamin C.
Unconventional Ways to Spruce Up the Petals
Some people use a hairspray to make cut flowers look fresh longer. If you are interested in trying this method, spray only the petals and do it from afar so as to not overcoat the arrangement. Another unconventional, yet tried and true, method to keep fresh flowers last longer is by using crushed aspirin. It contains salicylic acid which has an antibacterial property.
There are many things you can do to extend the life of fresh flowers. Looking for more advanced tips and tricks? Consult with professional florists to discover the answers to all your floral needs.
How to Keep Flowers Fresh, ConsumerReports.org
How to Make Flowers Last Longer, RD.com