Care for Your Cut Flowers

Care for Your Cut Flowers

Care for your Cut Flowers (Robert VanNoort, NPD - VanNoort Florists)

A bouquet of fresh cut flowers on your table brightens your home and adds interest to your décor. Each day your flowers will look different as they open.

You can get the most out of your purchase by following a few simple steps. Once you get your bouquet of flowers home it is important to attend to them immediately.

Don’t leave them lying around until you have time because they are like fish out of water. Unwrap your flowers carefully and locate the package of floral preservative that should have been provided with them.

Preservative has food for the flowers and also some bactericide in it to help keep the water clean. Prepare the vase that you would like to use by making sure that it is very clean. Rinsing with a little bleach is a good idea and then rinse with water. This helps ensure that there is no bacteria and algae which could cause your flowers to wilt or shorten their life.

Follow the directions on the preservative package and fill your vase with the correct amount of warm water. Warm water, means warm enough that you could put your hand in and not get burned. Warm water will help to push the water up the stems of your flowers.

Now you can start arranging your flowers. Cut each stem on a slight angle to the length you would like using a sharp knife. Make your stems long enough so that they can go to the bottom of the vase. You should cut at least half an inch off the bottom.

A clean cut is important as it keeps the vascular system of the stems open that aids in absorption of water. Scissors and cutters tend to crush the stem and impede this process. Remove any foliage that might be under the water when you put it in the vase and place your flower in the vase immediately. Foliage under the water will break down and contaminate the water.

Once you are finished, place your flowers on your table. It is best to keep them out of direct sun or close to heating vents or freezing drafts. Keep an eye on the water level as some flowers can drink a lot.

To keep your flowers longer, you should change the water every 2 days with fresh water and preservative. Ask for some extra preservative from your florist before you leave the store.

Remember that some flowers last longer than others. Some will last up to 3 weeks and others only 6 days. If you notice one of your flowers prematurely wilting (head falling over) this means that the stem has become blocked and it is dehydrated. Remove it from the vase and fill your kitchen sink with 2-3 inches of warm water. Cut an inch off the stem of the flower and lay the entire flower in the sink. Leave it there for an hour or so and once it is firm again, place it back in the arrangement.

Using these few simple steps, you can help your flowers to last longer and perform better. Try different flowers to see which ones you have the most luck with so you can enjoy them even more. 

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