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  • Writer's pictureTracey Parriman

Making the Most of Your Cut Flowers

Cut flowers can add beauty to any room in your home inside or out, but one of the most common questions that we get is how do I make my cut flowers last as long as I can? Here are some quick and easy steps to care for your cut flowers, and enjoy their blooms as long as possible.

1. Always start with a clean vase.

While most of us may think this is an obvious step, sometimes it’s the simplest steps that we overlook. Vases that you have previously used may contain bacteria that will quickly multiply and block the water-conducting tubes of the flower stems. Make sure to start with a freshly cleaned vase before you begin arranging your cut flowers.

2. Adding water and food

Using fresh water is common knowledge, but did you know that it's best to use room temperature or lukewarm water? This lets your blooms absorbs water faster and also helps reduce the risk of shock for your blooms. When adding water many of us like to add a little plant food as well. If your bouquet doesn't come with one of those convenient flower food pouches you can make your own! There are many DIY options like bleach, crushed aspirin tablet, sugar, even pennies! One of our favorite mixtures is a sugar, lemon juice, bleach mixture. For one quart of water you would add in 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp bleach, 2 tsp lemon juice.

3. Remove any extra foliage!

This is probably the most common mistake we see made, but is the easiest to fix if you know what to do! After you receive your bouquet before placing the stems in the water you will want to make sure to remove any extra leaves or stems that would be below the water line when you place them in the vase. Any foliage left in the water will quickly decay and leave a bacterial buildup that will lead to your flowers wilting faster.

4. Cut those stems!

Right before placing your stems in your vase you will want to make sure to recut your stems. We suggest taking at least 1” and cutting the stem at a 45 degree angle. This will allow your blooms to absorb more water leaving them fresher longer.

5. Be smart where you display your arrangement.

Any cut flower arrangement will last longer if it's kept cool. Place it where it won't be exposed to direct sun, heat from appliances or electric lights, or hot or cold drafts. If possible, move it to a cool spot or place it in the refrigerator at night. Both heat and moving air take moisture from the flowers at an accelerated rate.

6. Maintain your beautiful arrangement

Recut stems every third day and change the water when you cut the stems or the water looks cloudy. You can also add in your flower food every time you change out the water! If you have a mixed bouquet you’ll realize that some varieties might just naturally have a longer life than others. If you have a bloom or two that may look a little sad, just remove it and enjoy the rest.

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