Receiving a bouquet of flowers can make you feel like a million bucks. Those fresh and luxurious blooms can instantly perk you up and bring a smile to your face. So, you place them in a clean vase with fresh water to make them last as long as you can. Still, before you know it, those delicate petals start to dry up and fall off. What are you doing wrong?
First of all, don’t blame yourself. Once flowers are plucked, their life starts winding down. Based on a series of tests, the standard variety roses from florists can last about a week retaining their form. They’re basically on borrowed time and short of freezing them or dipping them in resin, the most you can do is make them last as long as you can.
The good news is, there’s a way for you to keep their presentable state for about two weeks. In addition to replacing the water in the vase daily to avoid bacterial growth, here are some tips and tricks to make your bouquet last longer.
Clean your cut flowers properly
Before you place cut flowers in a vase, make sure you follow these steps to maximise their lifespan:
- Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle so they can absorb as much water and nutrients as possible. The buds can still open up while marinating on the container’s water.
- Remove dirt from the stem and cut off leaves that would touch the water inside the vase. Any leaf or petal that touches the solution could rot and promote bacterial growth.
- Make sure you place them away from direct sunlight, too much heat can make cut flowers wilt faster.
Use plant food
If you spot a little packet with your bouquet, this is actually plant food. You can mix the contents with distilled water to keep your cut flowers fresh and perky. It contains sugar and biocide to keep the flowers hydrated while also killing bacteria in the liquid. Once the water gets cloudy, you can replace the solution with a fresh batch.
DIY plant food using soda
In case your bouquet doesn’t come with plant food packets, soda can work just as well. Sprite and 7-Up are particularly popular as flower preservatives among enthusiasts. The sugar and acid content of soda have the same hydrating and antibacterial properties as plant food packets. The ideal ratio is one part Sprite/7-Up to three parts distilled water. You can also add a pinch of bleach to keep the solution clear. Other household items you can use to prevent bacterial growth are apple cider vinegar, aspirin and vodka.
So the next time you receive a bouquet for your birthday or during Valentine’s Day, you know exactly what to do. If you have further questions regarding proper care for flowers, get in touch with A Better Florist or sign up to our Flower Jamming Session! We’re opening our doors every Saturday afternoon for people interested in learning more about flowers and floristry. Click here to find out more.