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Keeping cut flower fresher, longer

Nothing brightens one’s day like receiving a bouquet of fresh flowers. Whether that bouquet comes to you from a flower mart, a door-to-door delivery or clutched in the eager fist of an enthusiastic child, you will invariably want to keep those flowers fresh for as long as possible, right? Here are a few tips to help make that happen so you can enjoy your flowers for as long as possible, whether you pick your own flowers or buy them from a shop.

If you are going to pick your own flowers, it definitely makes a difference when you cut them. Generally, it’s best to cut flowers in the early morning hours or late in the evening. Why? This is because at these times, when the hot sun is no beating down on them, the stems will have had the maximum opportunity to gather water, which will help to provide nourishment to the flowers and keep them fresher, longer. Also, if you are picking flowers that have one single bloom, don’t pick the ones that are already open and in full bloom. They won’t last as long. Pick the ones that are just on the cusp of opening, so they will bloom once brought inside, which will prolong their life once they are in your house. For those with multiple blooms, cut them when at least 2/3 of the blooms are still closed or just about to open. This will ensure that the flowers will last longer once they are cut and placed in a vase. Cut the stems at an angle, as this provides the maximum amount of surface area for the stem to draw up water. Remove all leaves and other foliage from the part of the stem that will be submerged in water, as leaving leaves, etc. to “soak” in the water can cause decay in the water and negatively impact the health of your flowers.

In terms of the water, most flowers are perfectly happy living in lukewarm water. There are some exceptions though, such as bulb flowers like tulips, which prefer to live in cold water. In every case, it’s important to change the water every 3-4 days to keep it fresh so that it can continue to supply oxygen to the flowers. In some case, adding things like baking soda, sugar or even a crush aspirin to the water can help to prolong the life of your flowers.

Whether you receive a flower delivery or simply want to bring indoors some of your own garden’s floral bounty, these tips should help you to be able to enjoy the beauty and mood-boosting power of flowers for as long as possible. Although nothing will help cut flowers last forever, with these tips you will be able to enjoy your flowers for much longer that you probably have in the past.

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