Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a fresh bouquet of flowers on a special occasion? Flowers are traditionally given for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, anniversaries and other special events. While a beautiful bouquet can make a lovely gift, fresh flowers have finite lasting power.
However, recipients of floral arrangements need not fret — various strategies can help prolong their lifespan. Florists employ certain tricks to keep cut flowers fresh for longer. In fact, that’s a person’s best bet to keep them bright and lively — purchasing arrangements from knowledgeable florists who have done their part to ensure longevity.
Here are some additional strategies to consider.
Make fresh cuts in stems
Think back to the last time you purchased a Christmas tree. What is the key to ensuring it gets enough water while on display? You guessed it: making a fresh cut in the trunk. The same concept applies to floral arrangements. Use sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut about 1 inch from the bottom of each stem at a 45-degree angle. Continue this process every three days or so. The angle prevents the stem from squishing during the cut and enables it to absorb more water.
Get them in water quickly
Place the flowers in a vase or other vessel with water promptly after making the cuts. This gives fresh arrangements a good chance to last a while. Some florists like to cut the stems underwater to prevent air bubbles from forming.
Monitor water temperature
The temperature of the water in the vase should coordinate with the flowers on display. Do not use hot water, or the stems will cook. Room temperature is best for most flowers, except blooms from bulbs that flower during cooler months, such as tulips and daffodils. They’ll be more likely to thrive in cooler water, according to Consumer Reports.
Chill your arrangement
The experts at FTD by Design tested various strategies for keeping floral arrangements fresh, including adding aspirin to the water and using sugar or concoctions containing vodka. Sugar and vinegar served as a runner-up for long-lasting blooms, but the best solution was putting the arrangement in the refrigerator each night for roughly eight hours.
Prune the foliage
Before placing cut flowers in a vase, remove extra leaves at the base of the stems that will fall beneath the water line. This helps to limit bacteria growth in the water and cuts back on foul odors. Plus, removing foliage focuses flowers’ energy on the main blooms.
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