How To Keep Cut Flowers Fresh Last Longer And Homemade Recipe For Cut Flower Preservative

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Everyone of us has received a gift of a flower bouquet or we have cut flowers to enhance the beauty of our room. We all wish to preserve it in its original beauty and glory for as long as possible. We open up the thin transparent cellophane paper wrapped around the flowers. We then proceed to put the bouquet in a vase and fill it with water hoping that we will be able to prolong its life in its glory for some days. Well cut and well arranged flowers not only brighten a room but brighten up our spirits as well.

But inspite of our best efforts many a time we find that the flowers start drooping and shrivelling soon after. How we wish we knew why this happened? How do we go about extending the life of cut flowers for as long as possible?


pink roses
pink roses | Source


I will highlight below some steps that will extend the life and beauty of the cut flowers. Caring for cut flowers is combination of art and science, both.

For one thing it has to be appreciated that the sooner the flowers are placed in water, the slower they will wilt. Water, as for humans, is a prime need for flowers' sustainibilty.

Also it is better to cut off a small part of the stem at the free end as the cells at the cut end tend to get filled up by air almost immediately. Thus it is better to cut the stem ends under water so that air is not taken in.


Eustoma grandiflorum

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A Simple Home Made Cut Flower Preservative


A simple home made cut flower preservative can be made as follows:

Take,

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon bleach
  • 1 liter tepid water

Mix these ingredients well. Add 1/4 teaspoon bleach every 4 days.

Another recipe is:

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 liter tepid water

Mix well.

Source

The Steps


  • A Clean Vase - The Starting Point

It is very necessary to start with a clean vase and a glass vase adds to the beauty of the cut flowers. You can use any vase but ensure that it is clean from dirt and grime from the inside and outside.
To clean a glass vase, take some wire or steel wool and some glass cleaner liquid. Dip the steel wool in this cleaner liquid and scrape out the dirt that has attached to the inside of the vase. clean the outside as well and rinse off the cleaner well. Dry with a dry cloth or tissue.

  • Adding Water & Preservatives

Fresh, pure water is absolutely imperative to maintaining cut flowers. To start with fill pure fresh water that has commercially made flower preservative added to it - this is a mixture of sugar, an acidifier and a micro organism inhibitor - Since we usually remove a majority of the leaves, plants get deficient on food (carbohydrates) since

  • they have been de leaved &
  • they are placed indoors without direct sunlight and in much reduced light.

Because of the above 2 reasons the cut flowers get deficient on food and it thus becomes imperative to add food in the form of sugar in the water.

Also the acidifier helps to maintain the Ph of the water close to the that of the cell sap and also makes the pigment and color of the flowers more stable. Red roses turn blue without the addition of an acidifier or preservative.
Alkaline water shortens the life of cut flowers.
The microorganism inhibitor contains the growth of the bacteria and keeps the water free of them.

A process called hardening or conditioning, goads the cut flowers to take up water in huge quantities. The process is fairly simple and is given below.

Place the freshly cut stems in water which is brought to a temperature of 110 deg F. Before you put in the cut flowers remember to add the preservative.
Place the vase with the cut flowers in a cool place for about 1-2 hours. It has been found that at this temperature the water uptake is rapid and quick.
The flowers lose less water because of the cooler location and the higher intake of water ensures proper hydration of the cut flowers.

Once the hardening process is complete, top up water as and when required with fresh water to which floral preservative has been added.

  • Cutting Off The Leaves

Before the cut flowers are put in the vase, cut away the leaves that are going to remain submerged in water as they will rot in any case and spoil the water due to mold and bacterial growth.

Roses tend to stay better if the stems are de leaved. Leaves also tend to take up a lot of water as also the flowers so removing leaves removes the competition for water.

  • Cutting The Stems Clean

It is important to use the right tools to cut the stems. Do not use scissors as they crush and smash the stems due to their thickness. Remember a crushed stem will not intake the full amount of water.
To do this either use clippers or shears. You can cut both the stems as well as flowers with this. Just make sure they are clean.
It has been found that cutting the stem at a 45 degree angle ensures more water absorption due to the larger area available.

Also cut the stems every 3rd day. It helps the stem to absorb more water.

  • Topping Up The Water

Top up with water, that has the flower preservative added at the recommended levels, as and when required.

  • Location Within The House

Keep the cut flowers in a cool place in the room away from direct sunlight, other equipments that expel or radiate heat and also fans. These factors increase heat and induce water loss.


Source
Source

Some Important Points To Be Kept In Mind


Change Vase Water Every 2 Days

This is the most effective way to keep the cut flowers fresh for a long time.
Also use tepid water for cut flowers but cold water for those with bulbs like hyacyinths, tulips and the like.

Do Not Keep Cut Flowers Close To Fruits

Fruits release gas that causes them to wilt faster for example Apples release ethylene gas.

Do Not Overcrowd The Flowers

It is very important to keep the air circulation around the flowers moving hence do not jam pack them.

Trim Off Dead Flowers Regularly

To prolong the life of the healthy flowers it is important to trim off the dead flowers regularly and as soon as possible.

Time Of Cutting flowers

Cut flowers only in the early morning hours. It helps as the sugar content in the flower is at its peak. Some dew on the leaves also indicates it is the right time to cut.
Late evening, when the weather has cooled down, is the next best time.

Roses, Gladioli, Daffodils And Irises, Poppies

Cut when the flowers are buds.

Dianthus, Marigolds, Delphiniums, Zinnias, Chrysantemums, Dahlias, Asters

Cut flowers when they open out well.

Remember, freshly cut flowers from your own garden will last longer than ones bought from a florist.

How To Keep Cut Flowers Fresh

How To Make cut Roses Last Longer

How To Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 60 comments

Angelo52 profile image

Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

Lots of good information for keeping your cut flowers from wilting quickly.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for reading and appreciating Angelo.


debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

Great information! Thank you!


Gin 4 years ago

I also like keeping one of the flowers and just press it in photo album :) wonderful tips!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ debbiepinkston - thanks for stopping by.

@ Gin - Thank you for the feedback.


Bredavies profile image

Bredavies 4 years ago

perfect! thanks for the advice. I'll share your hub!


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Very concise article. You are certainly right about the sugar aspect helping to keep the flowers longer. A splash of lemonade in the water makes them last and bloom for ages when they should be past their best.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Bredavies - Thanks for stopping by and sharing the hub.

@ poshcoffeeco - Glad you liked the hub. Thanks for your input. Appreciate your stopping by.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well done Rajan! Some great tips just in time for our summer!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for stopping by and appreciating, Bill. Glad you liked.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

Great tips for keeping cut flowers fresh longer! I just cut a bouquet of roses and hydrangeas for our dining table and will be sure to place them in warm water to hydrate them before arranging. Thanks for the tips!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Stephanie, water uptake is much more and faster when the water is warmer. This helps the freshly cut flowers start off with an advantage. I'm sure your cut flowers will love it.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great tips for keeping fresh cut flowers longer. I didn't know about the warm water before. My grandmother used to put a crushed aspirin in the water before adding the fresh cut flowers.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

What an interesting and very useful hub. I learned a lot. I do love fresh flowers! A vote up and a share for this one.


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

Very useful tips...some I had never hear or even thought of. Thanks.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Beautiful, I love fresh flowers and I'm growing a ton of them this year!

I didn't know you should cut those leaves off before you submerge them in water - and I do place them in direct sunlight! Yikes! Thank you so much for this informative hub! Now I'll be able to keep my flowers fresh longer - and in winter I buy them about every week just because they make me feel better and they smell so good! Maybe a longer life will save me some bucks, huh?


NotTooTall profile image

NotTooTall 4 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

Hi rajan jolly,

I enjoyd reading your Hub. Nice photos too!

Thank you for linking to my Hub.

N T T


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

What a beautiful and well-written hub! Great work! I will have to vote this up and save it in my bookmarks for later. Aloha.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Just Ask Susan, thanks for reading and appreciating. If there is no readymade flower preservative at hand using Aspirin is a good choice as it makes the water acidic and helps in prolonging the life of the cut flowers.

@ Christy, Glad you liked the info. Thanks for the vote and sharing.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ ashish, thanks for reading.

@ RealHousewife, I'm glad the info is useful. Thanks for stopping by.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ N T T, your hub is really good so I had to link it. Thanks for reading, liking and saying it in so many words. I'm glad you visited.

@ brittanytodd, thanks for all the nice words. I'm happy you found it worthy of bookmarking it. Thanks for the vote. Mahalo.


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

You're hub is great, very useful. Love the pictures of flowers too, its like the scent is overpowering my computer :) Voted up and all. Anyway, check part 4 of my hub. hope you'll like it.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

unknown spy, thanks for all the kind words. I am happy you like the hub. Thanks for all the votes. You are a marvellous supporter and a loved friend. Thank you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

Thanks for this lesson, rajan. There are so many things I didn't know, even the reason for cutting the leaves. Voting up and useful. Good job!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Good to know you enjoyed this hub, Dora. I'm glad I could make it interesting and informative.

Thanks for the read, votes and support. Nice to see you here.


creative1975 profile image

creative1975 4 years ago from Christchurch, NZ

Great tips! I will definitely put these into practice the next time I buy some fresh flowers. Nicely written too! I vote up and interesting hub.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for appreciating the write up. You will definitely have the cut flowers last fresher and longer by using the strategies mentioned here. Glad you stopped by.

Thanks for the votes.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Very thorough explanation of how to keep fresh cut flowers to last a bit longer. I also liked the recipe you included for making a flower preservative. Voted up, useful and will share. Thanks!


vocalcoach 4 years ago

rajan - I'm such a fan! Every hub you offer teaches me and inspires me.

This one is no exception. The videos are very good and the photo of the white roses with baby's breath is stunning!

Your detail to the topic at hand clarifies each step. Thank you and voted up and across except for funny. Sharing!


brenda12lynette profile image

brenda12lynette 4 years ago from Utah

Thanks for the advice! This will come in handy when I help with my friend's flowers at her wedding in a few weeks! Voted up!


radhikasree profile image

radhikasree 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

These flowers look beautiful and the tips are very useful for preserving their beauty. I learned several ideas that I can apply in future.

Voted up and beautiful.

Sharing with my friends here.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Thanks for that recipe. Surprised to see bleach as an ingredient. How clever. I am copying it down and then sharing!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Peggy, I am glad you liked the information and the flower preservative recipe for making it at home. Thanks for voting and sharing the hub. Nice to see you.

@ vocalcoach, nice to get so much appreciation. You are so kind. Thank you for reading, giving so many votes and of course sharing.

@ brenda, I'm happy that you found this so useful and appreciate it so much. Thank you.

@radhika, I'm glad you found a number of ideas you can apply. Thanks for all the votes, appreciation and sharing.

@rebecca, glad you like the recipe and like quite a few things. Thanks for visiting and also sharing it.


Ionizer2012 profile image

Ionizer2012 4 years ago from Kirkland, WA

Beautiful pics, any tips on orchids?


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Great information Rajan.

Did not know about not placing the flowers near fruits. Mine are always near them.

thankyou!! voted up and sharing it across


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Ionizer, just follow these tips. however do not use cut flower food and do not touch the delicate inner flower parts. Touching the stigma distributes the pollen within and causes rapid withering of the flower.

Thanks for reading.

@ Ruchira, thanks for reading, voting and sharing. I'm glad you found info that you could use.


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 4 years ago

Hi Rajan, One of my favourite flowers is the St.Joseph's Lily, so I will most definitely use your advice and as usual your hub is a feast for the eyes. Thank You


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Shelley, thanks for reading and I'm glad you found it useful. I'm happy to receive such compliments. Thank you for reading.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

I love this hub. I love flowers and frequently make flower arrangments for occasions and for personal edification (so to speak). I've learned lots from you and will be bookmarking this. Thanks for the homemade preservatives--didn't know it's that simple. Totally awesome and useful.


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya Rajan, I love flowers.. flowers make me happy. But more often than not, they wilt in a couple of days, and I feel so bad. I enjoyed reading this very informative hub, and thank you for adding the recipes for preservative. Awesome! Voted up and shared. Now, off I go to buy flowers. Cheers!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

I'm so happy that you found the hub a practical guide so to speak. Thanks for liking and commenting. I appreciate it anglnwu.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

An extremely informative and helpful hub! Your list of suggestions, especially the simple homemade flower preservatives are very handy! I like fresh flowers and like to keep them longer. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up & Socially Shared


Angela Kane profile image

Angela Kane 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Thanks for tips. My flowers usually last about 1week so any method I can use to increase their freshness is very useful.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ ishwaryaa - I'm glad you found the hub useful. The recipe for the homemade preservative is easy to prepare and will keep the flowers fresher much longer along with the tips given.

Thanks for sparing time to read and vote and share it too.

@ Angela Kane - I am sure following these tips will ensure your cut flowers lasting fresher, longer.

Thanks for giving the hub a read and leaving your appreciation.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

rajan, nice hub and very well presented. Voted up and all the way. Perfectly-written and I love flowers, especially red roses. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and writing with us.

Kenneth


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks very much Kenneth. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for sparing time to read, comment and vote.


Letitialicious profile image

Letitialicious 4 years ago from Paris via San Diego

This is such useful information, the effect of fruit on flowers particularly surprised me. I'll try your recipe for a flower preservative. Many thanks for prolonging the lives of so many cut flowers!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, Letitia. I'm glad you found it useful and I hope you try this recipe.

Thanks.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

You've included some new-to-me tips for keeping cut flowers fresher. Thanks for sharing your recipe, too.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi RT,

Thanks for appreciating and for the visit.


MohkaUK profile image

MohkaUK 4 years ago

Thank you for the hub, I'll pass these tips on to my wife! She can't seem to make flowers last!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

You weren't kidding when you said the process was part science. I'll have to save this hub just to read it again. Lots of great information here. I didn't know red roses turn blue without the addition of an acidifier or preservative. That's the kind of information that makes this hub so helpful.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Mohka - thanks for the visit.

@ Marlene - Thanks for appreciating the info and thanks for the visit.


csgibson profile image

csgibson 3 years ago from Traverse City Michigan

I enjoyed reading your hub. I buy a lot of cut flowers where I live. Thanks for the information.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Craig. I hope you can benefit from this info.


pinki 3 years ago

tianks rajan for infermation iamveryhappy because summeriscoming.iamfrom jalander.nowincanada.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Pinki. I am glad you like the information. Yes it has started getting hot here too. Good to know you are from Jalandhar.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 3 years ago from California

Great hub rajan! I love the photos! Absolutely Stunning!--Voted up+--Lisa♥


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii

Really cool tips! My man likes buying flowers, but I always have troule keeping them looking nice. The recipes for flower preservatives are interesting, and I never thought to keep them out of direct light. Thanks!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@Lisa-thanks and good to see you!

@Natashalh-good to know you fond tips you could use to enhance the life of cut flowers. Thanks and good to see you.

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