4 Tips to Keep Flowers Fresh Longer
Freshly cut flowers look beautiful for the first few days but quickly start dying once home in a vase.
Usually, your flowers will include a little “packet” to prolong the life of the flowers.
What do you do when you need to change the water?
We have found a few tricks that will keep them fresh using simple items you already have in your pantry!
The reason fresh-cut flowers die so quickly is because tap water is not acidic enough to prevent the growth of bacteria.
The pH is too high. Plus, without an additive, there are not enough sugars to nourish your fresh-cut flowers.
Fortunately, there are easy plant foods and preservers that you can make at home in minutes.
I always think to myself…is it an aspirin that I should mix into the water? Or was it vinegar?
Here’s the answer!
Depending on what supplies you have on hand, here are four ways to keep flowers fresh longer:
- Vinegar, Sugar & Water: Mix (2) Tbsp sugar and (2) Tbsp distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in the vase. Dissolve the sugar completely and add flowers. Make sure there is enough water to fill the vase three-fourths of the way full. Change the water every 2 to 3 days and repeat the same ratio of vinegar and sugar to the vase each time.
- 7Up or Sprite & Water: Mix half and half ratio of Lemon/Lime Soda and Water in the vase. DO NOT USE DIET soda. Add flowers and be sure the water level is three-fourths of the way full. Change the water every other day and repeat ratio of soda & water.
- Lemon Juice, Sugar, Bleach & Water: Mix together, (2) Tbsp fresh lemon juice, (1) Tbsp sugar and half-teaspoon household chlorine bleach. Add flowers and then water to fill vase three-fourths full. The lemon juice will lower the pH, the sugar will give your cut flowers nourishment, and the bleach will help to prevent bacteria from growing. Change the water every three days (longer time span because bleach is better at keeping the growth of bacteria down).
- Aspirin, Water & a Penny: crush an aspirin and mix into water. Once dissolved completely, drop in the Penny and add flowers. Fill vase with water to three-fourths of the way full.
Before you put the flowers into a vase…
- Cut stems under water: If you need to cut the flowers to fit inside your vase…fill the sink with water and cut them under water at a 45-degree angle.
- Strip Bottom Foliage to Prevent Decay: Be sure to strip off foliage that would go beneath the water line in a vase. Vegetable matter decays easily and emits a gas that causes the other flowers to wilt more quickly.
- Support Floppy Flower Heads or Flimsy Stems: When working with stems that are flimsy or heads of flowers that tend to droop (such as tulips and roses), slip a clear straws on the stem to give additional support and push quilt pins down into the the middle of the flower head to hold floppy flowers upright.
Tips for Purchasing Inexpensive, Lasting, Flowers:
Buy Flowers from Grocery or Warehouse Store – if it isn’t refrigerated, don’t buy it. Flowers last longer when they are kept cold, so especially do not buy them from a roadside stand.
Look for Tight Buds – look for flowers that haven’t opened entirely because they’ll blossom in a few hours and will stay that way for many days. If the buds are already open, they’ll only last another day or two.
Keep Cool Overnight – After you have enjoyed your arrangement during the day, put them into the refrigerator at night. Returning them to the cool temperature will make them last even longer. (No room? Use the fridge in the garage. I always forget about that one!)
Your Turn: What other methods do you use to keep your flowers fresher? Share with me below!
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