How to Cut Flowers to Last Longer in a Vase

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Cutting flowers to last longer in a vase requires trimming the stems underwater, snipping them at a 45-degree angle and replacing the water every day. Trim the ends every few days for longer-lasting fresh-cut flowers with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment we're going to talk about "How to Cut Flowers so That They Last Longer in a Vase". Now there's many different ways that you can cut flowers and there's all different types of methods, and everyone says to add bleach or cinnamon or aspirin or whatever to the water, but in the end I have found what flowers really need is fresh water, just like us. So just by cutting the stems every few days and changing out the water with fresh water, they'll do so much better than adding anything into the water so that it doesn't turn funky. Because basically all that the chlorine or all that the aspirin is doing is stopping the water from becoming stagnant, and I would rather have fresh water than have stagnant water any day, so I'm assuming my flowers would too! So when you're cutting your flowers an easy trick is if you cut them out in the air what happens is air fills into the pockets, and so a lot of times the flower won't last quite as long because it's just got the air, you put it in the water, there's an air pocket between the top of the flower and where the water's at, so it's not really getting water as well as it should, because in nature the water comes up from the root to the bulb all the way up the flower. So an easy way that you can cut flowers just so that they've got water that comes up when you cut them and not air is just to cut them under water, and it's so easy! So all you do is just use a container or a bucket right in the sink, and as long as you cut at an angle, I like to do a forty-five degree angle as opposed to straight up and down because that way when it sits in the vase it's getting water from the side and not just being blocked. So you just cut at an angle underneath the water. And so then the water is what is soaked up, and not the air. And then you can actually take it out of the water and put it right into a vase with water, but because there is actually water into the stem and not air, it will continue to soak up the water, no problem. And so I just try to cut them every two to three days in a fresh vase and change the water out and I've found that my flowers last two, three, even a month in the flower vase, and you can always put them outside or cool them down if you're not home. So that's my other trick, if you're going off to work, as long as it's not freezing outside, you can put them on the patio or in the garage just so they're in a cooler spot than your house, then your flowers will last so much longer as well, and that way you can enjoy them even longer!

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