To me, beautiful bouquet is so fresh and welcoming. Whether it’s a gift from someone or a special treat to yourself, you’ll want to get the most out of fresh flowers. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know what to do when we get a fresh bouquet, and the arrangement doesn’t last very long on our kitchen windowsill. Here’s how to ensure your floral arrangements last days (and in some cases weeks!) longer with things you already have around the house.
Keep Clean Vases on Hand
Image via Flickr by Swami Stream
You never know when a little birdy might present you with cut flowers, so always have a couple of vases around surprises. Keep them clean and store them indoors, because a dusty vase from the garage isn’t very pretty, and might be harboring bacteria that will prematurely kill your beautiful flowers.
Mix a Preservative Bath for Flowers
Most people depend on the little package of floral preservative that comes with the bouquet. While this is fine, the packet only lasts about two days. However, you can mix your own when it’s gone (or anytime you get flowers without the preservative packet) with just a few household staples:
- Put one quart of warm water in your favorite (clean) vase.
- Add two tablespoons of sugar.
- Add two tablespoons of white vinegar.
- Stir the water mixture well.
- Trim 1-2 inches off the stems of the flowers, at an angle.
- Remove lower leaves so none are touching the water.
- Place your flowers in the water mixture in a cool room free of drafts. Avoid direct sunlight.
- Change the water, re-mixing with additional sugar and water every other day.
- Trim the stems a little each time you change the water.
Create Alternative Soak for Cut Flowers
If you don’t have sugar and white vinegar on hand, substitute with a few tablespoons (about 3-4) of lemon lime soda. It does the same things.
Warm water doesn’t shock your delicate flowers as cold water would. The sugar nourishes, assuring your cut flowers last longer and encouraging blooms to open. The vinegar discourages the growth of bacteria, which is a common cause of flowers wilting and browning prematurely. Cutting at an angle means the stems don’t sit flat on the bottom of the vase, which would prevent the water solution from reaching the flowers.
There are a few exceptions to these rules, though. Hyacinths last longer if left on the bulb, so don’t trim their stems. Just leave the hyacinths bulb in place for long-lasting flowers. Also, never add daffodils to your fresh-cut bouquet. Daffodils will quickly kill any other flowers you leave in the water with them.
If you’re considering cut flowers as a gift, tulips are an excellent choice, because tulips are long-lasting flowers. Tulips even continue to grow after being cut. You’ll notice they tend to grow toward the nearest light source, such as a window or open sun porch.
When you take a bouquet to someone away from home, such as a birthday party, graduation, funeral, wedding, or the hospital, bring a can of lemon lime soda and a plastic vase along with you. Then you and your friend can keep the flowers fresh and lively until she can get them home and into a proper vase. Enjoy your cut flower bouquets longer than ever with these simple tricks!