Fresh flowers can really brighten up a room. They add color, and many of them give off an undeniable ‘Spring is here!’ scent. Unfortunately, they don’t stay fresh for very long. They sag, turn an icky wilted brown, and little by little the petals fall off. .. and it hasn’t even been 48 hours!
One option is to make your own dried flowers, but if you want to keep them fresh, here are tips on how to make your spring bouquets last longer. While your flowers will eventually wilt, you can extend their life span.
Moisture is your best friend
The more moisture the flowers have in their petals and stems, the longer they will last. So if you cut the flowers yourself, do so in the early morning when their moisture levels are at their highest. If the flowers were delivered to you, or bought from a stall, then check the water levels in the container—and do this every morning and afternoon.
Keep them cool
Most flowers like cool temperatures, ideally between 40ºF and 50ºF. If the flowers look a little wilted when you got them, place them in the fridge overnight—or, if they’re too big to fit in your fridge, keep them in a cool room.
Keep the water clean, fresh and even pretty
Pick off any leaves that will be submerged under the water. Then, use an old brush to gently clean the stems. It’s also important to change the water every day. Another great tip is to mix a tablespoon of bleach for every quart of water (it also helps remove the smell). If you are using clear or glass vases you may also want to keep the water pretty by adding a few drops of food coloring.
Prepare the stems
A few simple steps will help the stems absorb water more efficiently. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the ends of the tips of the stems at a 45 degree angle. If you can, do this while the stems are submerged in water, to prevent air from getting into the flower veins. If the stems are woody, pound the ends with a mallet or the bottom of the knife. This will help split the stalks so they can take in more moisture. If you have tulips, it’s important to prevent airlock: use a needle to poke small holes along the stem.
Sugar can help give your flowers a little nourishment! Add just a teaspoon to the jar. And, if you notice any dying flowers, pluck them off. They can emit ethylene gas which can cause the healthier blooms to wilt prematurely.
Location, location, location
Don’t place flowers in direct heat or in front of a draft, such as fan. This will make the buds wilt.
Keep the stems straight
If your flower stems keep drooping, fix them with a bit of wire or straw. Others put push pins underneath the flower heads.
photo from apartmenttherapy.com