Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a fresh bouquet of flowers on a special occasion? Flowers traditionally are given for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, anniversaries, and other special events. While a beautiful bouquet can make a lovely gift, fresh flowers have finite lasting power.
Recipients of floral arrangements need not fret. Various strategies can help prolong the life of freshly cut flowers. Florists employ certain tricks to keep cut flowers fresh longer. In fact, that’s a person’s best bet to keep cut flowers fresh – purchasing arrangements from knowledgeable florists who have done their part to ensure flower longevity.
Here are some additional strategies to consider.
Make fresh cuts in stems
Think back to the last time you purchased a fresh Christmas tree. What is the key to ensuring it gets enough water while on display? You guessed it: making a fresh cut in the trunk of the tree. The same concept applies to floral arrangements. Use a sharp scissor or pruning shears to cut about one inch from the bottom of each stem at a 45-degree angle. Continue this process every three days or so. The 45-degree angle prevents the stem from squishing during the cut and enables it to absorb more water.
Get them in water quickly
Place the flowers in a vase or other vessel with water promptly after making the cuts. Some florists like to cut the stems under water to prevent air bubbles from forming in the stems. Choose an arrangement first, then cut and place the flowers in water quickly. This gives fresh arrangements a good chance to last awhile.
Monitor water temperature
The temperature of the water in the vase should coordinate with the flowers on display. Do not use hot water or the stems will cook. Room temperature is best for most flowers, except for blooms from bulbs that flower during cooler months, such as tulips and daffodils. They’ll be more likely to thrive in cooler water, according to Consumer Reports.
Chill your arrangement
The experts at FTD by Design tested various theories for keeping floral arrangements fresh, including adding aspirin to the water or using sugar or concoctions that contain vodka. Sugar and vinegar served as a runner-up for long-lasting blooms, but the best solution for prolonging the flowers was putting the arrangement in the refrigerator each night for roughly eight hours.
Prune the foliage
Before placing cut flowers in a vase, remove extra leaves at the base of the stems that will fall underneath the water line. This helps to limit bacteria growth in the water and cuts back on foul odors. Plus, removing foliage focuses flowers’ energy on the main blooms rather than the leaves.