Cutting Flowers and Keeping Them Fresh

Spring Flowers

Even if you haven’t specially created a planting plan that focuses on those flowers best grown for cutting, there will still be plenty of flowers during spring and summer that you can pick from the garden and bring into the house. But whether you pick home grown flowers or buy from a shop, there is always the dilemma of how to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Here are a few good tips on how to cut flowers and keep them fresh.

If you want to cut flowers fresh from the garden there are a few handy tips to ensure you pick the healthiest blooms and ones that will last the longest. As a general rule it is best to cut flowers either first thing in the morning or later in the evening. This will ensure that the picked stems have gathered the maximum amount of water. If you are picking flowers with single blooms such as daffodils or tulips, make sure you go for a bud that is just about to open. For flowers with multiple blooms it is best to cut those with at least two thirds of the buds closed or about to open. This will ensure you have flowers that will last longer once in a vase. It is also a good idea to cut stems at a slant, the thinking being that you will increase the surface area available to take up water. Remove all foliage from the area of the stem that it is to be submerged in water. Failure to do this often results in fouling the water.

There are also some useful tips about water. Most cut flowers prefer Luke warm water, except for bulbs such as daffodils that prefer cold water. Change the water in your vase every couple of days to keep it fresh and renew the oxygen supply. There are also a few quirky tips you can try to keep your flowers fresh for longer. Adding substances to the water has been proven to help and tips range from adding lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and sugar to crushing and adding an aspirin. Other substances you can try include soda water and even bleach.

It doesn’t really matter what vessel you use to house your flowers just as long as it suits the flower. For example lilies are best kept with long stems and so will need a tall vase. Vases can be anything from glass to plastic and even alternative objects will work such as china jugs, tea cups and indoor planters as long as they are water tight.

Source: Jo Poultney

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