Do you struggle to keep your flower arrangement alive for more than a couple of days? I’ll share some tips and tricks with you that have helped me extend the vase life of my cut flowers arrangements.
Summertime is here and it’s all about the flowers inside and out.
If you’ve grown your own cutting garden, the fun is just beginning and soon you’ll be harvesting your own flowers. After months and months of hard work, it’s finally time to enjoy the benefits of having your own cut flower garden.
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It may seem hard at first to cut your beautiful blooms but remember…this is a cutting garden. The more you cut, the more blooms your plants will produce.
How to Extend the Vase Life of Your Cut Flowers
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your fresh-cut flowers every time you harvest them.
1. Use Buckets and Vases that are Clean and Sanitized
Before you start harvesting, clean and sanitize the buckets and vases you’re going to put your flowers in. This will help keep bacteria from plugging up the flower stems that prevent them from getting water.
After cleaning the buckets you’ll be using for harvesting, fill them will cool water.
2. Harvest Flowers in the Early Morning
Cutting flowers in the early morning when it’s cooler and they’ve had a chance to rehydrate will extend your flower’s vase life.
Always avoid harvesting in the heat of the day when your plants are more stressed.
3. Cut Your Flowers Properly & Add to Water Immediately
Always use sharp and clean garden pruners or shears to cut flower stems to avoid spreading bacteria.
When harvesting your flowers from the garden, make 45-degree angle cuts above a node to promote new blooms.
If your flowers are store-bought, you will still need to trim the stems an inch or two at an angle, allowing for better water intake since they aren’t sitting flat on the bottom of the vase.
Make sure to put the flower stems into your clean bucket filled with cold water immediately after cutting them.
4. Remove the Extra Leaves & Foliage
All foliage and extra leaves below the waterline should be stripped off the stem. This will not only help the harvested flower focus its energy on the main blooms, but it will help prevent bacterial growth in the vessel.
By removing the extra foliage, the water will stay cleaner and it will help to eliminate odors.
TIP: Roses have guard petals that can be removed to allow your flowers to open up fully, These are the outermost 2 or 3 petals of the flower.
5. Let Your Flowers Rest
Fill your bucket or two with beautiful fresh flowers and bring them to a cool, dark space inside to start rehydrating for a few hours before you start arranging them in a vase.
6. Add Flower Food
Flower food, which helps extend a cut flower’s vase life, basically consists of citric acid, bleach, and sugar.
- Citric Acid – lowers the pH of the water
- Bleach – acts as a disinfectant to the water
- Sugar – flowers can no longer produce sugar once they’re cut so the flowers still think they’re eating when the “flower food” is in the water
You can also make your own flower food.
7. Change Out the Water Regularly
Rinse and clean the vase or flower container with warm water every 2-3 days to extend the life of your flowers.
Trim the stems at an angle once again.
Fill the vase back up about 2/3 full of cold, fresh water and add more flower food.
TIP: Putting a penny in a vase helps keep tulips from drooping.
8. Place Your Flower Arrangement In a Good Location
You can extend the life of your flower arrangement by finding the perfect location in the house for them.
SELECT COOL AND SHADY LOCATIONS
Cool temperatures and indirect sunlight will keep your flowers fresher, and longer.
Try to avoid spaces such as heating and cooling vents, fans, and appliances that generate heat. Sitting flowers next to open windows can cause dehydration as well.
KEEP FLOWERS AWAY FROM FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Ripening fruits and vegetables give off ethylene gas which will cause flowers to wilt.
TIP: Do not store your cut flowers in a fridge that also has fruits and vegetables as they release toxins that will cause your flowers to wilt.
An Extra Tip for Wilting Hydrangeas and Lilacs
When it comes to keeping my harvested hydrangeas and lilacs from wilting excessively I add an extra step after cutting the stems.
Just like any other flower, I cut the stem at an angle to allow more water to be soaked up.
Then I smash the bottom of the stem with a hammer to allow even more water to be soaked up into the bloom.
I hope these tips have helped you learn a thing or two about extending the life of your cut flower arrangements.
It really is easy to keep your flowers from looking fresh and fabulous even longer.
Make sure to leave a comment below with any other helpful tips you have to share or any questions you have.
Until next time,