How to Extend the Life of Cut Flowers

If you don't grow your own, you can always buy cut flowers, and if you do, you definitely want them to last as long as possible.   This article will show you how to preserve your cut flowers so that you can enjoy them for a long time.
If you don't grow your own, you can always buy cut flowers, and if you do, you definitely want them to last as long as possible. This article will show you how to preserve your cut flowers so that you can enjoy them for a long time.
  • Most people probably don't know that almost all tap water contains minerals in it that make it alkaline, or that alkaline water has difficulty moving through cut flower stems. Because of this, the life of your gorgeous cut flowers in a vase will be shorter because they don't get the nutrition and hydration that they desperately need to survive. This article will show you various simple ways to extend the life of your beautiful flowers so that you can enjoy them longer.

You want your cut flowers to remain beautiful for as long as possible!
You want your cut flowers to remain beautiful for as long as possible!

Things You Will Need

* sand (for short-stemmed flowers)
* adult aspirin
* hairspray
* hydrogen peroxide
* distilled white vinegar
* sugar
* antiseptic mouthwash

  • The first thing you can do is to lower the pH of the water by making it acidic. Simply use one part of Sprite (non-diet) to three parts of water in your flower vase. It is the citric acid in the Sprite (or you can use Seven-Up) that helps to lower the pH, and the sugar in the drink gives the cut flowers an extra boost of energy. However, you can just use distilled water in your flower vase instead of tap water if you are willing to purchase some at the supermarket. That should completely eliminate the pH problem.
  • Here's a tip you don't usually hear: Certain fruits (like bananas and apples) emit ethylene gas that is harmful to your cut flowers, so don't put your vase near a bowl of fresh fruit. Also, if you have fruit in your refrigerator, don't put cut flowers in there.
  • Each time you refresh your water in your vase, add about a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, which is a way to prevent stem-killing bacteria. You can also use about a half a teaspoon of antiseptic mouthwash for each quart of water in the vase. Look out bacteria, we are becoming wise to your ways!
  • Sugar and distilled white vinegar will also help prevent the growth of bacteria and remember that the sugar gives them the needed nourishment.


Some Great Tips to Keep Your Flowers Looking Lovely Longer!

  • If you have guests coming for lunch, put your flowers in the closet for about an hour or so. Bringing them out and exposing them to the light of day (right before your guests arrive) should perk them right up.
    (Only works in the daytime)...
  • When your gorgeous bouquet of flowers begins to wilt, grab a can of hairspray and hold it about 18 inches away from the underside of the leaves and petals, spraying hairspray upward. Commercial hairsprays contain glycerin and a class of acrylic resins which will help them survive another few days.
  • Now for wilting flowers that you want desperately to revive, dissolve an adult aspirin in half a cup of warm water, and pour it into your vase. And, before you throw them out completely, cut the stems again on a slant and put them in fresh, warm water.
  • If you happen to have a bouquet of short-stemmed flowers, put them in a container with sand saturated with warm water. They should look great and last a while.

Read my tips for keeping your daffodils looking beautiful longer!
Read my tips for keeping your daffodils looking beautiful longer!

Tips for Specific Cut Flowers

* Daffodils - the sap-like fluid that they release in water is harmful to other flowers, so before you add them to an arrangement in a vase, put them in a separate vase with some lukewarm water. In a couple of hours of so, they will have released the sap, so you can empty the water out of the vase, rinse off the flower stems and then put them in a vase with other flowers.
* Marigolds - A teaspoon of sugar added to the water will help!
* Roses - Use hot water in your vase, so that the stems will expand and it will be easier for the water to get up to feed the blooms and flower buds. (Also, roses love salt, so add a pinch a salt to their water and they will last longer).
* Tulips - A tulip will grow, even after being cut, so be prepared to move them to a taller vase in order to hold the stems up. Copper added to the water also helps tulips to keep the blooms from drooping, so throw in a few copper pennies.
* If you have light-colored cut flowers, add some food coloring to the water and they will become a toned-down, muted version of the color your choose.

* Remove dead flowers so that they don't contaminate the rest.

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