So, you’ve bought beautiful cut flowers to brighten up your house, or maybe you’ve received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers as a gift. Flowers are a great and easy way to immediately make any room look more aesthetically appealing and inviting, but sadly, they don’t last forever.
The good news is that we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you out. So, if you are wondering how to keep cut flowers fresh for longer, then here is all that you need to know.
• Cut the stems at an angle
Before you put your flowers in the vase, don’t forget to cut the stems, and make sure that you cut them at an angle. This is important because when you cut off one or two inches from the stem at an angle, it allows the flowers to not sit completely flat on the bottom of the container or vase, thus enabling better water intake.
Most people tend to forget that after the first cut, you have to retrim the stems after every few days too if you want to keep your flowers fresh for longer. Especially for more sensitive flowers like roses that are more susceptible to bacteria growth and air bubbles that affect water absorption, it’s important that the stems are cut at an angle.
• Prune your flowers
If you are wondering how to keep cut flowers fresh, pruning your flowers is an essential step. By removing leaves that grow below the water line, you can help prevent bacterial growth, which is the main reason cut flowers wilt and die. Apart from the leaves below the water line, you may also want to remove the guard petals in certain flowers such as roses. These are the two or three layers of the outermost petals that provide protection for the “real” petals.
Pruning not only helps to keep your flowers fresh, it also definitely makes them a whole lot better especially if you put them in a transparent vase or container.
• Choose large, wide containers/vases
By placing your cut flowers in large containers or vases with wide necks, you ensure that the stems are not squeezed together too tightly. This reduces the chances of bacteria multiplying in the flower bouquet by preventing, to an extent, the infected stems from spreading the bacteria and other microorganisms.
Also, make sure that your containers and vases are thoroughly cleaned before you place the flowers in them. An unclean container only increases the speed of bacterial growth, thereby killing your flowers quicker.
• Place them away from any source of heat and fruits
Once you put the flowers in the container or vase, place it in a place where they will not be exposed to direct sunlight or any other source of heat such as gas stoves, microwave, oven, etc. Doing so only stresses and dehydrates the flowers much faster.
Additionally, keep in mind not to place your flowers near fruits if you are thinking of ways on how to keep cut flowers fresh. As fruits ripen, they release very small amounts of ethylene gas, and this can have a negative impact on the life span of your beautiful bouquet.
• Change the water every few days
Many people forget to change the water in the vase or container after every two or three days. Replacing the water by using room temperature water will ensure that the fresh flowers last longer. Remove any kind of dirt or debris before filling up the vase again. Following these simple steps can help reduce the risk of bacterial infection and keep your flowers alive for several more days.
• Add a little soda
On our list of how to keep cut flowers fresh, we also have soda. If you have bottles or cans of soda that are not empty just yet, you can add them to the vase water. The sugar in the soda helps to fight off bacterial infection, making the blossoming petals and leaves last longer.
If you are using a glass, transparent vase or container where you can see the water, you may want to use a clear soda such as Sprite or 7-Up.
• Mix vodka and sugar
It turns out there’s more than one way to use vodka to have a great time! This alcohol can be used to keep flowers fresh for longer so you can enjoy the beauty it adds to your room for a few days longer.
All you have to do is add a few drops of vodka along with one teaspoon of sugar to the vase water before you put the flowers in. This helps in effectively minimizing bacterial growth, while also providing the necessary nourishment to the cut flowers. Every time you change the vase water, make sure to add the mixture of vodka and sugar too.
• Mix apple cider vinegar and sugar
Another effective method of how to keep cut flowers fresh is by adding apple cider vinegar and sugar to the vase water. Keeping your flowers fresh is easy because all you need are everyday house hold items that you probably already have in your home.
Take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and mix it with two tablespoons of sugar. Add this mixture to the vase water every time you change it, that is, after every two to three days.
• Add copper coins to the water
This one may surprise you as it’s a little less known method of keeping your flowers fresh. Take a copper coin and simply drop in inside the vase or container. How does this work? The copper acts like an acidifier, thus helping in minimizing the bacterial growth in the flower stems and vase water. You can even add a cube of sugar along with the coin for better results.
• Use flower preservatives or make your own
Another effective solution on how to keep cut flowers fresh is to use flower preservatives or flower foods. These are easily available at any local gardening store and are very affordable too. They contain all the basic nutrients and nourishments that the cut flowers will need to live longer. In addition, flower preservatives also contain biocides that help prevent bacterial growth and infection.
If you don’t want to buy flower preservatives, you can easily make your own at home. You will need to mix bleach with citrus soda. In other words, adding any kind of carbonated drink that has sugar and acid contents will do the job. Just add it in the vase water and you’re all set!
• Remove wilted flowers and leaves immediately
Finally, remember to remove wilted flowers and leaves as soon as possible from the bouquet so as to prevent the further spread of the bacterial infection. As soon as you notice dead or fading flowers, remove them from the vase as the other healthy flowers may be affected by the ethylene gas that is released from the dying blooms.
This may sound like a simple step, but many people often forget to do so or ignore the dying or wilting flowers until it’s too late. This greatly impacts the longevity of the entire bouquet. With these tips and tricks on how to keep cut flowers fresh, you can be confident that you will have beautiful, blooming flowers that last for days.