This past weekend I was at one of my friend's Christa's home just having a nice relaxing evening with her and another friend April. During one of our many discussions of random topics she had asked me how she might be able to get her flowers to last longer that she sometimes receives from her hubby. They are always so beautiful when anyone receives them straight from the flower shop and that's when the following questions come to mind...
Were you one of the lucky ones to receive a bouquet of flowers, especially this past weekend? With Valentines Day behind us now, there is help on the way to show you and your loved one exactly how much you valued their thoughtfulness by having the flowers last as long as you possibly can. When you go into your home, there is nothing nicer then seeing a fresh bouquet of flowers especially during the winter months.
A few very easy tips is all your flowers need to have them looking good for as long as you can and it only takes a few minutes each day or every other day. Plus caring for your flowers is very therapeutic and satisfying. Just knowing that you are doing the best to make them last makes it worth the easy effort.
If you are going to have time or make time to have your flowers last then the most important thing you can do is simply change the water daily or even every second day and you could even go a little further with this and give the flower heads a light misting or shower as you are changing the water. Check out the pictures below to see how easy it can be.
When you change the water you may prefer to add a water enhancer and flower booster to the water again. If you don't have any of the flower powder left that came with your plants then you can use something at home that may work just as well. I have a few suggestions below that I have used.These remedies have been known to be very successful.
Before you begin to make any ammendments to the water it is beneficial to give the flower stems a fresh new cut as well. By doing this it will encourage the stems to take up water more quickly and effectively resulting in a healthier longer lasting bloom time. If you are willing to take the time to do this use a very sharp edge knife or pruning scissors to make an even and clean cut. If dull ones are used they will only end up crushing the stems and will prevent air flow from getting into the vein of the flower. This would also be a good time to take the leaves off of the stems, especially the ones that may be emerged under water. It would actually be beneficial to do this process when receiving your flowers if you have time, even with all the excitement of getting them!
As mentioned, you can use your own home remedies to help your plants last longer by adding these simple ideas to your water that you mayalready have at home. I used a 1/2-3/4 tablespoon bleach in a quart of water then added two tablespoons regular granulated sugar. I mixed the two together then added to the water that the flowers will go into. The bleach will kill any bacteria in the water and the sugar will feed the flowers at the same time. You can use many other remedies that work like this as well, however this is the one that I would use if my powder or fertilizer ran out. You can see other types that are suggested in the pictures below.
Substitution of vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar will all work the same when mixed with the sugar as bleach would if you didn't have the bleach or would prefer not to use it.
Other suggestions were left over sprite or seven up colas. Using regular pop especially the clear types are beneficial when added as well. Add a few tablespoons to the water just like you would with the bleach solution. The clear pop is recommended over the dark pop as it doesn't make the water look dirty. Coins can be dropped in the water especially those discontinued pennies. We finally found a new use for them! You can add these to the vase as the copper or even nickel will give off properties that will make the plants last longer. I'm sure you all have heard of using aspirin or have even reverted to using it yourself. You can use one aspirin tablet or capsule dissolved in water by preparing ahead of time. Allow the powder to dissolve in water just like you would with the flower powder. Then pop the plants back in the vase and see them continue to put on a show and last much longer because you took the time!
As mentioned removal of leaves will enable the plant to put more energy into the stem and bloom as well as cut down on any unnecessary debris in the vase. Fresh cut flowers such as tulips,that have thick stems and very thick leaves can sometimes have issues with becoming air-locked. This means simply that air as well as water uptake is reduced when cut from the bulb stock. It is beneficial to simply take a needle and poke holes right through their stem from top to bottom. This will allow great water and air circulation to reach from the bottom of the vase right up to the blossom and will enable it to last longer. These fresh cut flowers will be found at stores very soon, and may even be available now. They make a lasting impression all late winter and into early spring. You can take this as a hint to go and pick some up if you would like!
If the air in your home is generally warm and dry you may even want to place the vase down on the floor during the night time. Plants, especially fresh cut flowers enjoy a cooler temperature usually around 40-50 F. Place flowers in a setting that they will get noticed and enjoyed of course but be mindful that it will need to be a suitable temperature as well. Suggestions of keeping out of direct sunlight, heat, fans and drafts would certainly be a good idea and prevention of these areas will help them last longer. You may even notice that certain types of cut flowers will last longer then others. There are cut flowers such as Allium that do have a longer "shelf life in a vase" then other types, where as others may only last a week no matter what care you give them. Removal of any dead or dying plant material in your bouquet is very essential because not only does it look unsightly in the arrangement but the build up of ethylene gas that is emitted from decaying plant matter will cause other plants to mature and die back quicker then usual.
This is an actual bouquet that graces the table at my parent's home in Stratford. I'm not sure if you have had the chance to read one of the Christmas blogs where my dad had purchased a Poinsetta for my mom at Christmas time, he does really well with buying plants or fresh flowers. Dad has an appreciation for their beauty as well as the enjoyment they bring to mom and anyone else who stops by. There is nothing more cheerful then having something this beautiful to look at and care for each day, especially taking into consideration of the thoughtfulness that went behind it. If you would like to consider to grow some of your own cut flowers this season, it is possible. You can check our our newest as well as reliable selection at this link.
I hope that the winter will continue to be enjoyable as we look forward to our newest and exciting gardening season that 2016 will reward us with.