How to Preserve Fresh Cut Flowers

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Most people agree that flowers look beautiful and are a great reminder of nature to enjoy indoors. However, flowers once cut from the plant usually don't last long and as good as they make you feel, it might make you feel a little depressed to watch them quickly wilt or die before you have hardly had time to enjoy them. While the strictest flower enthusiasts suggest the best way to keep flowers fresh is to leave them in the garden, you can bring them home and help them last longer.

  • Get the flowers early. The best time to pick them from the garden is in the morning, right after the dew has dried and when it is cooler. If your not cutting them yourself, find out when the flower store gets their deliveries and go soon afterward.

  • Prepare the vase. Use a big vase to not crowd the flowers. Clean your vase with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Fill the vase with about 3 inches of lukewarm water. You don't want it too high, because water will actually help the flowers decay.

  • Cut the flowers. Cut 1 to 2 inches of the stems off at a 45-degree angle. Make sure to use pruners because they are sharp and will not damage the flowers. It is most important to due this under running water to keep air bubbles from blocking the flow of water up the stems. Remove any foliage that will fall below the water line, as it will help bacteria grow. Make sure to put the flowers in the water right away.

  • Put your flowers in a good place. It's best to keep them out of direct sunlight and away from ripening fruit. The fruit puts off chemicals that will cause the flowers to die sooner. Move them to a cool place at night.

  • Change the water every day and trim about a quarter inch of the stems off when you change the water. You can use the plant food from the florists; this will help keep bacteria away as well as feed the plants. As an alternative, you can use 1 quart of water added to 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of bleach.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put daffodils in their own vase as their stems give off a compound that's toxic to other flowers.

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