Fresh cut flowers are the ones commonly found at your nearest florist. They come in a variety of colors and options and you have the option of choosing any variety of flowers of any color to make your own bouquet. As beautiful as fresh cut flowers are, it is very unfortunate that they do not last long. However, there are ways that we can make sure that the flowers we buy last longer. The obvious advice is to choose the freshest flower. The secret is in the petal. Flowers with firm, “upright” petals are considered the freshest, and be sure to buy flower buds or those that are just beginning to bloom.
The following are some tips on how to prolong the life of cut flowers:
o The vase or container you choose to place your flowers should be clean and filled with cold or warm water.
o Cut the leaves off the stems below the water line of your container and cut an inch or two off the bottom stem to allow the flowers to absorb water easily
o Flowers last longer in a cool / cold environment, therefore do not leave flowers overnight in warm rooms and do not place them near appliances that generate heat or heat.
o Flowers in water tend to generate slime caused by bacteria. To avoid this, use a few drops of household bleach and a tablespoon of sugar. Although there are commercially produced flower foods available on the market, it is not as effective as the combination of bleach and sugar.
o Cut back the lower stems every few days to allow better water absorption and fill your vase or container with fresh water every day.
o Some flowers need special care. For example, bulb flowers like daffodils last longer if their stems are cut at an angle and remove the sticky white discharge. Woody-stemmed flowers, like roses, last longer if their lower stems are crushed and split to allow them to easily absorb water. To prevent the tulips from falling off, the bouquet should be tightly wrapped in damp newspaper and left in 2-3 inches of water for at least an hour and a half. Then push little pins through the stems just below the flower heads and voila, the flowers will be upright!