Just about anybody with an affection for the garden loves fresh flowers. Unfortunately, the lifespan of these pretty plants rarely exceeds a week once picked.
The short-lived joy is often disappointing but clinching on for few extra days, or even weeks, is achievable.
There are a fair few tricks to try if you are desperately trying to keep those Valentine’s roses or birthday chrysanthemums looking great as you admire them on the garden from a wooden bench or brightening up the inside of your home.
Pick Them Sensibly
If you’re taking the flowers out of the ground yourself, the first thing to note is that you must do at the right time This includes the right time of development as well as time of day.
The best time of day to take the plants from he ground is usually the morning as stems will be filled with water. Once picked, get the stems straight into a bucket of water.
The type of flower will dictate at which stage of their lifecycle they should be picked. Most are good to go as they are beginning to show colour but this isn’t always the case. Check up on your specific flower for best results.
Don’t Let Them Have Dirty Water
Most people often overlook a basic daily routine – change water daily. Assuming you wouldn’t drink anything that’s been stagnant for days, why would flowers want to?
By not changing water, you could be offering bacteria and fungi the perfect breeding ground. This is essentially taking away the goodness of the water and suffocating your flowers.
Give the Stem Every Chance
It’s important that flower stems are able to transfer water to the rest of the plant effectively. The best way to achieve this it to ensure that stems are relatively short and clipped at a slant.
A shorter stem will make sure that water can travel quicker and the slanted chop means that the capacity to absorb water is increased.
No Wet Leaves
Leaves should never enter the water. They are extremely prone to decomposing, rotting and damaging water quality when submerged.
Clip off any leaves that would be underwater, or remove any fallen ones that have slipped into the vase to eliminate this issue.
Flower Recipes and Ingredients
On top of the obvious points, there are also a few less-thought about ways of prolonging the life of your flowers. Some of them are strange but all have been proven to help in the long run.
Check out these everyday items that can keep your flowers fresher for longer.
Bacteria and malnourishment are two of the biggest culprits in dragging your flowers down to horrible levels. Adding a few drops of vodka to your water can derail the growth of bacteria, giving you longer lasting flowers.
Remember to change the water and don’t forget to add your vodka at the same time. Throw in a teaspoon of sugar to give flowers nutrition.
On the subject of sugar, you can easily make a homemade plant preservative to help your flowers stay fresh. Take three tablespoons of sugar and mix it with a solution of two tablespoons of white vinegar per litre of warm water.
Submerge stems by 3-4 inches and the sugar content should be enough to provide much need nourishment whilst the vinegar prohibits bacteria.
Not just for keeping your hair as you want it, hairspray has a knack for preserving flowers, too. A quick dash is all that’s needed.
Spray a little bit beneath leaves and petals to keep flowers in shape and looking full of life. Stand a foot away and apply the hairspray. That’s all there is to it.
Aspirin is a surprisingly good friend of flowers that have been cut. It contains something called salicylic acid which ensures water is kept clean and not accommodating of bacteria.
Crush a few aspirin into your water before putting your flowers into their new home and see how much longer they stay fresh.
A quarter if a teaspoon of bleach added for every litre of water in your vase help fresh flowers last longer. Three drops along with a teaspoon sugar is also used by many people.
Water should be stopped from turning cloudy and bacteria eliminated, reducing the chances of dirty water contributing to wilting flowers.
A New Approach to Flowers?
As a community of garden and flower lovers, we want our flowers to last as long as possible. Their alluring charm, smell and appeal isn’t matched by many things in this world.
A little thought and maybe even a brand new tip can be enough to attain some extra life and keep that smile on your face.
Ed Sloane is a keen garden enthusiast and lover of plants. You can find him either outside or helping others get seating by working at Garden Benches, suppliers of outdoor furniture.