Freshly cut blooms add an instant injection of color to the home, and many also have their own captivating sweet fragrance. Whether you’ve been gifted the flowers or have decided to treat yourself, few things are as delightful as a vase brimming with freshly cut blooms. In order to enjoy the many benefits blooms bring, it’s important to do everything you can to keep fresh flowers lasting as long as possible. One way to do this includes keeping them well fed. There are a number of ways to do this, some of which we’ve listed below to help you on your way.
Invest in a commercial preservative
Just like us, plants and flowers require food in order to stay alive! With this in mind, it’s important to invest in a preservative, such as one of the many commercial options available. These often come with the cut flowers, however, if you do run out, you can purchase plant food and preservatives online or at your local garden center.
Create your own DIY preservative
If you wish to create your own preservative, this is an easy option too as many of these formulas can be created using common household ingredients. To do this, step one requires you to combine one cup of water with one cup of 7 Up and half a teaspoon of household bleach. If you’re feeding a larger arrangement of freshly cut flowers, simply up to the amounts of liquid proportionally.
One of the most popular ways to extend the life of freshly cut flowers is to feed them with aspirin. As well as keeping the doctor away, these tablets can also keep your cut flowers alive and well for longer. Flowers that have been cut require some form of carbohydrate in order to thrive and aspirin has both the sugar and nutrients needs to make your blooms last longer. You should ensure the stem ends have been cut properly with a clean tool as this will promote the uptake of water and any plant food within it.
Use demineralized water
If you reside in an area that has hard water, it’s important to fill your vase with demineralized water, as this will help the floral preservative to take effect. As the majority of the mineral and salt ions have been removed – including calcium, sulfate, magnesium, sodium, and chloride – the process can be sped up.
Best plant food for freshly cut flowers
Different blooms require different plant foods and different levels of formula. It’s, therefore, a good idea to research the flowers in question before buying or making your own plant food. It’s a good idea to place cut flowers in a room that is cooler in temperature as this will help the stems to take in more water and more nutrients from the plant food.
Household items including soda, pennies, lemon juice and even bleach all work well as ingredients for DIY plant food. One tried and tested plant food recipe requires the following ingredients:
- Two table spoons of lemon juice
- One table spoon of sugar
- Quarter of a teaspoon of bleach
Add all of the above ingredients to one quart (2 pints) of warm water and you have a DIY plant food at the ready.
An alternative mixture could include apple cider vinegar and good quality vodka. Feeding freshly cut flowers with just a few drops of either of the above, mixed with a tablespoon of sugar, will create a plant food formula that provides both antibacterial agents (to prevent diseases) and carbohydrates – both are needed for freshly cut flowers to thrive. For best results, you must ensure the water is clean. It’s a good idea to change this every few days before adding more plant food. Warm water that is about 38°C is the optimal temperature. This temperature will increase the flow of nutrients and water and will help stems to adjust.
When changing your vase’s water and adding a fresh batch of plant food, it’s a wise idea to cut the flower’s stems again. You should do this using a sharp pair of scissors or a knife, making the cut at an angle. This will prevent air from getting into the stems and impeding nutrient and water intake, which will end in cutting the lifespan of your cut flowers short.
Follow the above tips and you will be able to enjoy your freshly cut flowers and their beautiful blooms for much longer, allowing you to add a vibrant hue and a perfect perfume to an array of rooms in the household. Check out our other tips for keeping your fresh flowers lasting longer too – especially if you’ve recently received some blooms to mark a birthday, anniversary or other special occasions.