How to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

Whether you fancy roses, tulips, daffodils or supermarket bouquets, take note of these simple tips for adding longevity to your favorite fresh-cut flowers.

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Brighten Your Space With Fresh Flowers

Adding fresh-cut flowers is the quickest and easiest way to add life to any room. With so many choices out there, it's difficult to know which flowers will work best for your space with regard to care, safety and upkeep. Take note of these simple tips to bring a touch of the outdoors into your own home with minimal fuss.

Transporting Flowers Home

The time between picking out flowers and getting them home is the most crucial, due mostly to how quickly stems can dry out. Ensure proper hydration by keeping a basic five-gallon home improvement store bucket in the back of your car. Add approximately four inches of water to the bottom of the bucket and your flowers are certain to handle the trek home.

Picking a Vase or Vessel

One of the most important factors in regard to displaying cut flowers is using the proper vase or vessel. If extra-tall flowers are put into a vase that's too low, the top-heavy stems can start to bend, then possibly break. To widen the range of flowers for use in your home, consider keeping a collection of vases in various shapes, sizes, depths, heights and finishes.

Washing Vases With Soap + Bleach

One of the easiest ways to cause harm to fresh-cut flowers is by placing them into a vase or vessel which has not been thoroughly cleaned. After your previous flowers have been removed, a layer of debris and bacteria is left behind. This bacteria can quickly harm fresh flowers and lead to rapid decay. To fully clean a vase or vessel, rinse it with hot water, dishwashing soap and bleach.

Following Bouquet Instructions

Although basic care and instructions may seem universal for all cut flowers, special handling may come into play depending on the origin of particular species. Non-indigenous flowers traveling long distances may require more immediate care than those which are locally grown. Be sure to always read the basic directions before removing cut flowers from their wrapping.

Using Floral Shears

A key trick in cutting flower stems correctly is to invest in floral shears and making sure their edges remain sharp. When basic scissors are used to cut stems, the vessels which transport water up into the stems are easily damaged from the blunt side of the scissors, causing the flower to quickly deteriorate. Sharp floral shears will create a perfectly clean cut through the stem, allowing proper water flow through vessels and up into the flower itself.

Cutting Stems Underwater

One of the most important steps to ensuring longevity to your flowers is the proper cutting of the stem. The best way to do this is underwater and at a slight angle, roughly one to two inches above the existing end using sharp shears. When a flower's stem is initially cut from its place of origin, the flower itself loses all access to water through its original root system. By cutting the flower underwater, you are immediately allowing the flower to absorb any lost water caused by its initial removal.

Adding Floral Food

Oftentimes, homeowners neglect packets of floral food which come attached to bouquets. It's important not to skip adding floral food to vessels since its purpose is to eliminate bacteria and add nutrients to stems once mixed with water. If your bouquet didn't come with floral food, it can be picked up for free or at a minimal cost from the floral section of your local supermarket.

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