How To Make The Most Out Of Your Cut Flowers

I love having flowers at home. They brighten up the space and make the house smell naturally fresh and make me happier. 

With flower sales reaching a high this Valentine's weekend, one must keep in mind that in order to make the most out of your bouquet one must help the flowers to thrive and prolong their freshness.

If you want to make the most out of your flowers, prolonging their freshness for up 7-10 days here's a few pointers to follow to keep them going strong.
  • If you're know you're picking up flowers yourself it helps to take along a piece of aluminium foil to wrap around the bottom part of the stems to help the flowers keep their freshness until you get home while also avoiding a mess in your bag. 
  • Pop the flowers in the sink until you prep up the setup. 
  • Start by getting one flower first. Measure roughly how tall you want the flower stem to be, depending on the vase you're using. Cut the bottom stem diagonally. In doing so you're helping the stem absorb more water than it would if you were to cut across horizontally. Use a sharp knife to chop off at least half an inch. Make sure the cut is clean. Avoid using scissors to do the job as this will squash and thus damage the stem. 
  • Use the first flower as an aid to cut the rest, so that all the other stems are roughly the same length.
  • Chop of any leaves on the stems that will be immersed in water. This will prevent dispersion of bacteria in the water. 
  • It is much easier to build a bouquet arrangement by holding the bouquet in your hands and not by popping the flowers one by one in the vase. Look from the top of the bouquet to ensure it looks perfect and symmetrical. 
  • Fill the jar with tepid to slighty cold water. Avoid using very cold or hot water as this will unsettle the flowers. 
  • The flowers I purchase normally include a tiny sachet. If your does too mix this solution with the water in the vase. This contains the nutrients that the flowers will need.
If it doesn't than make your own solution:
  1. Flowers need food too. Mix a teaspoon of sugar with the water in the vase.
  2. Add some lemon juice. I use a small chunk of a lemon and squeeze it to make the equivalent of two teaspoons of juice. This will prevent bacteria build up.
  3. Some also add bleach along with or even instead of the lemon juice, but I personally find bleach too harsh and tend to stick to the lemon and it works for keeping the flowers fresh for longer.  
  • Change the water after two or three days, deepening on how cloudy the water is and then repeat the steps above. Remove any dead leaves and flowers to prevent further bacteria. 

This might all sound very cumbersome but once you get used to the routine it it will only take a couple of minutes and will ultimately result in having flowers fresh for longer.

Having read all these pointers keep in mind that not all flowers are the same.

If the flowers in question are tulips than keep on topping up the water in the vase as tulips require a lot more water than then other flowers. Tulips are highly temperamental and are not to be set in a vase with Daffodils.
If you are working with sunflowers, avoid adding the food solution. Sunflowers won't like that.

Other tips for consideration:

  • Choose younger, un-blossomed flowers when purchasing flowers so that they blossom while you're caring for them and enjoy them for longer. 
  • You may choose to cut the stems under running water in order to avoid air penetrating the stem. 
  • Keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and heat. 
  • When you're done with your flowers clean the vase with soapy water and dry well. 

Enjoy your flowers!
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