It is often that many people get frustrated by how short-lived a bouquet may be once they get it home. This tends to lead to them forgetting that fresh cut flowers are still living entities that can be encouraged to last much longer under the right conditions. What are the right conditions, you may ask? Well, Bloom & Bud is here to help! We have organized a list to help ensure that your flowers last longer!The following tips will help make your flowers last longer.
7 Awesome tips to help you maintain long lasting flowers
1) Replenish the water frequently
Change the water entirely every 2-3 days. Flowers drink a lot of water!
It is not uncommon for a large flower arrangement to devour all the water in a vase within the first to two days that you have received it. We recommend to keeping the vase full to ensure the flowers do not dry out and wilt. Flowers are also highly susceptible to bacteria that builds up as stems sit in the water. By changing the water
in the vase every other day, even if the water hasn’t been used up, will help keep your flowers fresh longer (and avoid that horrid rotten smell that develops if you let them sit a long time). To get this done you would have to carefully tip the vase over a sink to let the water drain without disturbing the design. Then re-fill the vase by gently pouring water in at the top of the flowers.
2) Trim the stem off your flowers
We propose to you that you trim at least a half inch of stem off your flowers
before you put them in a vase and each time you change the water. On your ride home when your flowers sit out of water, the ends of the stem tend to dry out and the cells die, making it difficult for the flowers to absorb water. By cutting the stems just before placing them in water again, you expose fresh tissue that can suck up the water much more efficiently
. This can also be done when you change the water in the vase a few days later, you trim the stems and this helps remove tissue at the tips that may be breaking down and once again expose fresh tissue that absorbs more water.
3) Keep your flowers away from heat and bright light
Occasionally, people think they should set their vase of flowers in a sunny windowsill since that is where a plant would be happiest. However, cut flowers are actually the opposite of potted plants. They are at their peak of perfection. Cut flowers last longer in cool condition. Sun and heat will encourage them to “mature” and thus quicken their demise
. Avoid placing them where they will be exposed to direct sunlight or on top of radiators. If you place them near a window, the flowers can also quickly get damaged. Instead, keep your cut flowers in a cool dark spot if you would like them to last as long as possible. To prevent flowers from drying out and wilting, keep them away from drafts and heat sources.
4) Avoid sitting your flowers beside ripening fruit or vegetables, especially bananas and apples
Ripening fruit gives off an odourless invisible gas called ethylene
. This gas is harmless to humans but rather deadly to flowers
. The science behind it is as such: in the plant world, flowers are the precursor of fruit. Once a flower is pollinated, it begins to develop into a fruit so it can form seeds and start the plant life cycle over again. Ethylene is the gaseous hormone in the plant that induces that flower to drop its petals and become a fruit. As the fruit matures, it continues to give off ethylene. When you sit your vase of flowers next to ripening fruit, you’re exposing them to this gas
and they will decide they’d better drop their petals the way Mother Nature intended. Keep your flowers away from the fruit bowl, especially if it contains apples. Apples and other fruit give off ethylene gas which causes flowers to deteriorate.
5) After you throw out your last arrangement, be sure to wash the vase/container very thoroughly in hot soapy water or, better yet, in your dishwasher.
Bacteria build up in dirty vases and do not go away just because the vase dries out. As soon as you add water again, the vase will once again be full of bacteria and your new bouquet will be subjected to the same bacteria that killed the last bouquet. Ensure that you give your flowers a fresh clean environment free of bacteria and they will last much longer.
6) Use “flower food” for most flowers.
While changing the water every other day or so is often just as effective for making flowers last longer, adding those flower food packets
that come with packaged flowers are beneficial as well. This is especially true if you’re forgetful/lazy and won’t be changing your flowers’ water regularly. In addition to “feeding” the bouquet, these food packets contain a bactericide that keeps the water fresh for a day or two longer. You can make your own flower food by adding about 1 teaspoon of sugar, 22 teaspoons of lemon juice and a 1 teaspoon of bleach to your vase before adding about a quart of warm tap water. It is worth noting that there are a few flowers that actually do NOT like flower food in the vase. Some of these are: zinnias, sunflowers and glads.
7) Use sharp scissors when cutting
If you use dull old scissors or snips to trim your flowers, you are often smashing, and thus damaging, the tissue/cells at the end of the stem. Damaged cells cannot absorb water as effectively as healthy cells
. Sharp scissors ensure a clean cut that leaves cells unharmed (except the poor few that inevitably get sliced). Cut the stems with sharp scissors at an angle , and cut thick-stemmed flowers such as amaryllis with a sharp knife. Blunt scissors or dull instruments can crush the stems and prevent the flowers from properly absorbing water.