Tips for Keeping Flowers Fresh
Flowers tend to wilt because they are unable to obtain sufficient water through the stems to overcome the evaporation through the leaves and flowers. To keep flowers fresh for longer period, one can adopt the methods as suggested below.
Multiplication of bacteria in the water will clog and destroy the stem tubes. To overcome this one could add salt, charcoal or listerine in the water in small quantities. This would slow down bacterial growth and prevent the plant from clogging.
Flowers should be cut either early in the morning or after sun down. The stems should be cut at an angle to increase water intake. The stems should be cut and water changed daily. Squeeze jelly like sap from stems of flowers like Hyacinth to facilitate drawing water.
Flowers like Gardenias should be wrapped in wet tissue before display and sprayed on while on display. This is because these flowers take water only through their petals. Cut flowers at proper stage of development, i.e. Dahlias when fully open. Scrub containers clean, and avoid aluminum containers.
Flowers should be kept cool and moist before use. They should be kept away from sun light and drafts. Ferns should be kept under water for 3-12 hours before use. Flowers that absorb a lot of moisture should be kept in vases containing at least 6 inches of water. Collect flowers and plant materials from areas where the soil is moist and plants are growing under sun light.Leaves, buds, half open and full bloom flowers should be collected and foliage stripped of lower stem.
Hot water method
Wrap the whole plant except the stem with paper and put in hot water. This method is the most suitable for stop stem materials. Dipping in water – Dip plants into water upside down. Wrap newspaper around the plants while taking out of the water. Wet the newspaper and keep in a place where it is not exposed to light or wind.
Cut many slits or crush the end part of the plant stems with scissors after cutting them in water. Chemical applying method – Chemicals such as salt, baking powder, burnt alum are used. Dissolve these chemicals in the water of the flower vase used.
Materials are placed in chemicals for sterilization from 10-20 minutes after having been cut in water. Chemicals such as alcohol, acetic acid, peppermint oil are used. Salt sprinkling method - Sprinkle salt around the stamens or stick toothpicks in the center of flowers liable to fall easily.
Water pumping method
Water pumping method can be tried with plants such as lotuses, lilies, water , strong tea or other solutions e.g. tobacco stock i.e. a liquid made by putting cigarette tobacco in a cloth or cotton in the water are forced into the stem with a water pump. Sprinkle water only on the leaves and not on flowers. Put ice cubes in water for hot summer months. In order to make your flower arrangement last longer, try to keep it away from windows or fire so that they will not suffer form sun, heat or blowing wind. Putting an aspirin tablet or a pinch of salt in the water keeps the flowers stay fresh for longer. Avoid giving flowers rude temperature shocks. While buying flowers take care to pick up flowers with green stem. Pick buds or flowers, which are not fully bloomed.
Let us adopt the above methods for best results keeping the flowers fresh for a longer period of time.