Flowers are adored by all. Whether given as a gift or purchased by yours truly for yours truly, they’re a welcome addition to the home. A beautiful bouquet of bold blooms will brighten up any room in the household, adding both color and fragrance to the abode. With this in mind, it’s likely you’ll want to do everything you can to prolong the lifespan of your freshly cut flowers.
There are a number of factors that can affect the lifespan of your blooms, and one such factor to take into consideration is the vase you choose to use and the microorganisms that are contained within it. This is normal when the vase is used regularly, but thankfully there are a number of ways to prevent this from happening, some of which we’ve listed below.
Clean the vase in four easy steps
For best results, it’s important to thoroughly clean the vase you intend to place your freshly cut flowers in before use. This could be a traditional vase, such as a glass vessel, or alternatively, a more unique container, in the shape of a ceramic pot, an old watering can or a wellington boot.
Step one: Boil the kettle and fill your vase (or alternative container) with the hot water.
Step two: Take a tablespoon of baking soda and white vinegar and add to the hot water to create a DIY mixture. Both of these ingredients can be found in the majority of people’s kitchen cupboards. If you don’t have them to hand, they’re easy and cheap to source at your local supermarket.
Step three: The next step requires you to scrub the insides of the vase with a clean cloth. You can use a general household cloth or alternatively, a rag from an old t-shirt or shirt.
Step four: Finally, empty the mixture out of the vase and dry the vessel thoroughly, before placing your new fresh cut flowers into the pot. This method will help to remove and prevent microorganisms from growing in the vase. It’s also a good idea to repeat these stages if you notice that the water has become particularly murky, the leaves or the flowers are wilting, or if the water in the vase has begun to smell.
What are microorganisms?
The presence of bacteria in the vases of freshly cut flowers can cause flowers to wilt and die. This is a common ailment and one that of course impacts upon the longevity of your blooms. Bacteria attacks cut flowers by blocking the stems and by creating substances that are absorbed by the blooms. The majority of microorganisms associated with cut flowers are water and soil borne. These microorganisms infiltrate and move inside the stems. A large number of bacteria can even plug the stems entirely. All of these factors can dramatically affect the lifespan of your cut flowers causing them to look lackluster, wilt, or in the worst case scenario, die. This is the last thing you want, which is why it’s very important to ensure the vase you place your flowers in is clean from the word go.
Signs the water in the vase is affected by bacteria
There are a number of factors to look out for when it comes to microorganisms attacking the water in a vase and ultimately, the flowers. The water may change color, it may also look murky or start to smell a little funny. The flowers themselves will also start to wilt, change shade and look unhealthy. If you spot these signs, you must act quickly. Remove the blooms from the vase and empty out the soiled water. Then clean the vase thoroughly. Once you have repeated the steps above, place the blooms back into the vase containing the fresh water. The longer the water is left in the vase, the more likely it is to be affected by bacteria and microorganisms.
Other points to note
Certain species of flower are more likely to be attacked by bacteria. When purchasing cut flowers, it’s, therefore, a good idea to do your research. If you’re a particularly busy individual, it may be wise to invest in cut blooms that are less susceptible to the likes of a bacteria attack and which are low maintenance. For example, Chrysanthemums are more likely to be affected by this than cut roses. It’s also hugely important to purchase cut flowers from a trusted supplier as it’s necessary to buy the freshest blooms possible.
Other factors also influence the lifespan of freshly cut flowers, and it is wise to regularly cut the stems, to use hairspray and to make sure your plants are well fed. You shouldn’t mix fruit and flowers together either, as this can cause unwanted pests and diseases to flourish.