Caring for Cut Flowers
With spring and summer just around the corner, it’s worth getting prepared for all the lovely flowers that will soon be brightening up your home. Whether you’re cutting your own flowers, or caring for cut flowers bought in a shop, there are several things you can do to make them last a bit longer. Here are the top tips for caring for cut flowers.
Keep the water topped up
This might seem like an incredibly basic thing to say, but many people assume that filling a vase up once will be fine. However, this is often not the case. Flowers will drink lots of water, and obviously, some will evaporate from the vase too. Keep an eye on the water level, and aim to keep it pretty much full, or at least at the level you started with. Caring for cut flowers boils down to just that: caring for them. Flowers love water, and so this should be your top priority.
Make sure they’re well fed
When planted, flowers will absorb nutrients from the soil, but can’t do this when standing in water. Cut flowers can stay alive for several weeks if given the correct food. Shop-bought bouquets generally come with a sachet of plant food, which makes caring for cut flowers really easy. However, generally, good quality all-purpose plant food works just as well. Dissolve around a teaspoon into the water, and then add more after a week or so.
Change the water
You should aim to change the vase water once or twice a week. At the same time, remove any dead or dying flowers, as these can rot very easily and make the water go bad. Caring for cut flowers by keeping them in fresh water will greatly improve their lifespan, particularly if you always make sure there’s food in there too.
Keep away from certain things
Generally, you should treat cut flowers in the same way as live plants, but with a few exceptions. Keep cut flowers away from fruit (particularly bananas), as the enzymes can speed up deterioration. Similarly, keep your cut flowers away from temperature extremes, as these can cause the flowers to dry out or rot. Finally, keep your cut flowers away from cigarette smoke, as this is harmful to the plants and can kill them off quicker. Caring for cut flowers by keeping them in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, will make them last much longer.
Caring for cut flowers really isn’t difficult if you’re willing to spend just a couple of seconds each day making sure the water levels are fine, and changing when needed. Without care, many species last for around 7 days after they’ve been cut, but with the right food and conditions, you can easily increase this to a week or two. A good shortcut is simply removing dying flowers as soon as possible, because this will just keep the arrangement looking fresher. Just remember, starting with good clean water and some plant food will get the flowers off to the right start.
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