How to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer
Find out how to keep your blooms, well, blooming, for as long as possible.
Spring is officially on its way, which means it’s about to get harder and harder to resist bringing bunches of cut flowers home from the grocery store. They’re so pretty, yet so fleeting!
But just because they don’t last as long as a potted plant, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to prolong their beautiful little lives. Luckily, there are a few expert-approved ways to keep your blooms, well, blooming, for as long as possible.
First, keep in mind that the lifespan of cut flowers can vary. Most cut flowers last a week, max, but roses and peonies have particularity short life expectancies once they take up residence in a vase. Though pretty, these fragile flowers are usually goners in three days. Lilies, carnations, and sunflowers, on the other hand, have staying power.
Experts agree: The most important thing is to strip off any foliage below the waterline before you put it in a vase. Underwater foliage will decay and cause bacteria to grow, which can cause your flower to deteriorate quickly. And, because the submerged part of the stem will also decay, it’s recommended that you snip off 3/4 of an inch to one inch of stem every two to three days. You should also keep flowers away from heat sources and sunlight which can speed up their demise.
As for the old penny and aspirin tricks? While effective, Dave Dowling, an industry liaison for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, told HGTV Magazine that there are much better ways to make your blooms last.
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“The idea is to keep the water clean and free of bacteria. This can be done with flower food, a few drops of bleach and by changing the water often, especially if it gets cloudy,” Dowling explained. “I feel pennies belong in the piggy bank, and aspirin is for headaches.”
So, there you have it! Keep those vases clean and foliage-free, y’all!