Caring for your Cut Flowers
You've just got your flowers home and of course they're looking great but what can you do to help them to look their best for longer? Follow these steps to help give them the best possible vase life. You probably know of most of these but maybe there is something new you can try!
Remove any foliage that will be submerged. Foliage sitting in water will decay and pollute the water in the vase.
Cut the stems of your flowers on a diagonal angle – this leaves a larger surface area for the stems to absorb water.
Always cut your stems with clean, sharp scissors or secateurs – try not to rip or tear the stems as you cut them.
Use a clean vase. Most flowers prefer lukewarm water but if you have bulbs then fill your vase with cold water instead.
Place your flower arrangement away from direct sunlight or heat. If you put them on a windowsill or near a radiator you will significantly reduce the vase life. Similarly avoid very cold or draughty areas.
Keep your flowers away from your fruit bowl. Fruit gives off ethylene which is a gas that causes them to age more quickly.
Try to fully replace the water every day – don’t just top it up. If you can’t do this daily then do it as often as possible as this tip probably makes the biggest difference to vase life.
Re-cut the stems every 2-3 days – remove 2cms from each stem and remember to cut on an angle.
Do deadhead flowers and remove stems as they pass their best to prevent rotting plant material spoiling your remaining blooms.
Personally I don’t use flower food. My flowers are cut straight into fresh water and if I follow the steps above I normally find my flowers last so long that I eventually get bored of them before they die on me!
However if you like to use food you can also try out some of the recipes below for homemade flower food:
Quick fix – add a glass of lemonade to the water. The acids help the flowers to take up water and the sugar gives nutrients and helps to prevent bacteria. Don’t use diet lemonade as this doesn’t have the sugar content needed.
To 2 pints water add 2 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon bleach.
Add 2 ¼ teaspoons of Listerine mouthwash per 2 pints of water. Listerine contains sucrose (food) and a bactericide. Listerine is acidic and is said to help water move up the cut stem.