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Prolonging the life of your cut flowers begins the moment they're entrusted to your care. First off, make sure your vase is very clean and filled with fresh, lukewarm water mixed with flower nutrients. Next, strip off all leaves that will be below the water level of the vase and cut 2cm off all stems at a slight angle. Place the flowers in the vase, away from direct sunlight, radiators, draughts and fruit. Over the following days, be sure to remove any faded flowers and top up the water regularly.
Just add water....
....and a little pampering
How do you feel when you arrive somewhere after a journey?
Chances are your roses feel much the same. Welcome them to their new environment by following these simple steps.
1. In the same way as you like to take off your coat and put down your bag, your roses want to get rid of any excess baggage. Carefully peel off any of the outer guard petals that look a little rugged – these were left on to protect against potential pre-arrival stresses. Likewise, remove any leaves that will be below the waterline of the vase, and untie any bits of string that are holding the stems together.
2. While relaxation is important, you need to keep your roses on their toes. Cut about 3cm off the stems, ensuring you make the incision at a 45-degree angle. If you can perform this task while holding each stem under water, all the better.
3. Drinks and snacks all round! Empty the sachet of plant food into a vase and fill it with water. Not ice cold water, mind you. Water is the red wine of roses, so they prefer a glass served at room temperature.
4. Arrange the roses in the vase and then settle your guests somewhere they’ll feel welcome – away from bright light and drafts, and somewhere you’ll enjoy their company and remember to take care of them.
Play the perfect host by changing the water and adding more plant food every few days. You can also perk up any heat-exhausted blossoms by soaking the entire flower in a sink of cold water for about an hour. Feel free to talk to your flowers, but be careful not to cause unease to other guests who may be visiting.