Flowers are a beautiful item and when arranged in the form of a bouquet, make up for an attractive gift with a deep meaning. This is why most of the people like to preserve them and extend the period for which they can enjoy the sentimental as well as aesthetic beauty of the flowers. Some varieties of flowers last up to 7 days, while others have a lifespan of 14 days, if taken proper care of. However, a few steps that can help you extend the lifespan of your cut flowers are discussed below.
Place them in water
Flowers start dehydrating after a short interval out of water, so it is essential to put them into a container or vase of water as early as possible. When you get the flowers, use warm water instead of hot or cold one to place them to quickly rehydrate them. This will also encourage the blooms of the flowers to open as most varieties are shipped with tight or closed blooms. Technically, the temperature of the water considered to be perfect for this purpose is roughly near the body temperature, where air bubbles in the stem are likely to break up, if there are any formed. Also, flowers take up water more readily when it is kept at a slightly higher temperature than that of the surrounding air.
It is a healthy practice for flowers to change the water at regular intervals, preferably after every 2 days. After the first 2 days, the flowers should be hydrated very well, so cold water can be used instead of the warm one. This is done so that the flowers can be kept cool and hence, retains a good condition for a long time.
Flower preservatives are readily available in the market, where some professional florists deliver them along with their shipment of flowers, including anti-bacterial additives and carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates serve as a food for the flowers, helping them sustain alongside stimulating their heads to open faster. This preservative becomes handy when you get flowers like lilies with tight blooms and wish to get them opened earlier.
The bactericide component is meant to prevent the development of the bacteria in the water, which could cause the flowers to deteriorate more rapidly. A major problem caused by the bacteria is that it serves as a blockage in the stems and deters the uptake of water. Also, it can cause the discoloration of the vase water as well as producing an unpleasant odor, if left for a considerable time.
Thus, it is recommended to put all the content of the preservative sachets that you got in the water container. Even if you don’t have any anti-bacterial preservative with you, a drop or two of bleach can also be used for the same purpose as it acts similar to the preservatives.
Remove underwater leaves
It is essential to cut out any leaves that will lie under the waterline, so as to prevent a quick deterioration, leading to the formation of a bacterial breeding ground. A professionally arranged bouquet always comes with leaves removed on the lower side of the stem however you might need to cut them out, if you are buying unarranged and loose flowers.
Trim the Stems Properly
Trim about 1 inch of the stems from the bottom with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, avoiding the stem to be crushed out. Also, cut on an angle so that the surface area of the flowers exposed to the water is increased, while a flat bottom is more likely to prevent the uptake of water by blockage due to the flat sitting at the vase’s bottom.
If a flower has been kept out of water for some time, air gets drawn into the stem, preventing its ability to uptake water. Other reasons for blockage include the presence of impurities and bacteria in the water. So, it is recommended to place the flowers in the water, immediately after cutting, where some florists recommend them to be cut under water to prevent the air from entering the stems.
Also, the stems must be cut every two days along with the change in water.
Keep them away from fruit
Ethylene gas produced by vegetables and fruit is injurious to flowers, where some susceptible species include Delphiniums and Carnations. Thus, try to place them away from the storage of fruit and vegetables to ensure a good health. Also, the leakage of domestic gas causes damage to the cut flowers, making them difficult to survive.
Thus, if you are willing to maintain a good health of your cut flowers, the above discussed steps can ensure you of their longevity. A proper care is needed to keep the flowers alive for the maximum period and also help them bloom earlier, allowing you to enjoy their beauty as well as fragrance for a considerable time.