Looking to establish a long-term relationship with your flowers? Flowers require attention and care to help them bloom and last longer. But this need not be the overwhelming, daunting task you have been imagining it to be. All you need to do is take few simple precautions and bring some handy ideas into your floral care routines, and your flowers are guaranteed to hang around for longer. Here are 7 amazing tips from the experts that will take the stress out of the job and keep your blooms naturally fresh and long lasting.
Keep them Well Groomed
Don’t be in a rush to pop your bunch into some fresh water; grooming your flowers is highly recommended to extend their life and enhance their blossoms. Even before you receive your bunch of flowers, they have already begun to wilt having been removed from a source of water and exposed to air and heat. This causes air to plug the water conducting cells in the plant stem, and therefore you need to trim atleast ½ inch off the lower end of the stem to ensure proper water absorption and circulation. This is best done with a sharp, un-serrated knife that slices evenly through the stem and can cut it at an angle to maximize the absorbing surface.
Harden the Flowers
Hardening is the horticultural equivalent of flossing, priming your flowers for optimum health and beauty. Hardening refers to the technique of using the temperature of the water to maximize on water absorbed by the stem, and minimize on any amounts leaving it. The warm water offers kinetic energy that speeds up the absorption and movement of water into and up the stem without scalding the flowers. To harden the flowers place them in water heated to 43.5 degrees Celsius (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit); for those unsure of these measurements, think of water just a little warmer than the hot tub at the gym. Once you place the flowers in this water, move it to a cool place- ideally in the refrigerator- where the cool ambient temperature prevents the loss of water through respiration. Once your flowers have cooled down they are hardened and ready for display.
Preserve Them with Hairspray
I swear by just how much simpler it is to get through the day with a touch of hairspray in the morning; turns out flowers too could use a spritz every now and then. Removing the flowers from the vase, hold them upside down and apply hairspray to the undersides of their petals. Make sure to go easy- a little hairspray always goes much further- holding the can a few inches away. Hold the flowers in an upturned position to let the hairspray set and allow any excess to drain off before returning the flowers back into the vase.
Don’t Mix Fruits and Flowers
They might all look extremely compatible out in the wild, but to ensure a long life flowers and fruits are best kept apart. While these may look exquisite when they come together in dainty arrangements, many fruits- apples, kiwis and banana in particular- emit a gas that is toxic to flowers and speeds up their aging, causing them to wilt sooner. This gas, ethylene, means that not only should you separate your fruit and flower arrangements, but also keep your flowers away from any fruit bowls or hotspots around the house to make them last much longer. It isn’t just fruits though that you need to keep an eye out for; not all flowers work well together too. Daffodils in particular require to be displayed on their own and demand their very own vase- these emit a compound that poisons the water and kills off any other plants.
Keep them Well Fed
Water may not be enough to ensure a long life for your blooms. While commercial preservatives are the best go-to solution to maximize on your flower’s lifespan, there are simple home-made recipes that you can turn to as well. Vodka, aspirin and pennies- while popular as antimicrobial agents- can actually damage your flowers; instead a little soda can do the trick. A solution with 1 cup water and 1 cup of 7-Up or Sprite, adding half a teaspoon of household bleach to the mixture, can work wonders for your flowers, keeping them fresher and fuller for much longer. For larger vases increase the quantities proportionately. Further, make sure to replenish and change your water regularly; remember- the cleaner your water the longer your flowers survive.
Clean Your Vases
A simple yet fundamental tip to keep your flowers free of disease or premature aging is to ensure your vase is clean and free of microorganism such as mold and bacteria. These can kill off the flowers and therefore must be eliminated prior to putting a vase to use. To thoroughly clean a vase, fill it with hot water and add a teaspoon of baking soda and vinegar. Scrub the walls thoroughly with a clean cloth and drain the water, allowing the vase to dry completely before use.
Keep Flowers Away from Appliances
Your vase of fresh cut flowers may look stunning on your TV console, but this is one of the last places to consider placing it. Appliances such as the television, computers, refrigerators and the microwave give off heat which dehydrates the flowers and causes them to wilt. In order to keep your blooms fresh and long lasting, keep them in a cool spot where they receive plenty of gorgeous sunshine. Also, remember to keep your flowers in water at all times, taking as little time as possible to change the water. You should also mist your flowers daily to ensure they are well hydrated and pert.
Use the infographic by Serenata Flowers below to make sure that you take a proper care of your gorgeous flowers: