Fresh cut flowers are a great way to bring some of the color and freshness of summer into your home, but all too quickly, they droop and start to die. There are, however, some easy ways that you can make cut flowers last a lot longer. If the fresh flowers that you bring into your home seem to last no time at all, read on, and we’ll give you ten great tips on how to make your fresh flowers last a long time.
One of the biggest enemies of cut flowers is the bacteria that can build up in the water. To stop those bacteria from breeding, try adding a few drops of vodka to the water along with a teaspoon of sugar. The sugar will provide some nourishment for the flowers and the vodka will keep the bacteria under control. For the best results, change the water daily and add vodka and sugar to each time you do it.
Hairspray will keep your blooms looking beautiful for longer too. As soon as you get a bunch of flowers, give the undersides of the petals a very light spray of hairspray. Leave the flowers upside down while the hairspray dries and then place them in a vase. The costing of hairspray will protect the petals from the air and keep them fresh for longer.
Another way to beat the bacteria problem is to add a small amount of bleach to the water. Be careful not to add too much bleach, though, or you will kill the flowers very quickly. All you need is about three quarters of a teaspoon of bleach to kill the bacteria and a teaspoon of sugar to feed them. That will stop the water getting cloudy and it will keep the flowers looking fresh for longer.
4. Harden the stems
If you harden the stems of flowers, before you put them in water, it will increase the speed at which water is drawn up through the stems into the flowers themselves. To do this, cut off about a quarter of an inch from the bottom of the stems at a 45 degree angle. Then, put the flower in warm water for a few minutes and then leave them in a cool place to dry before you place them in a vase.
5. Apple cider vinegar
Here’s another great trick for keeping fresh flowers for longer and this time we are using apple cider vinegar to keep the bacteria in the water under control. As well as the many other wonderful uses for apple cider vinegar, its acidity will keep your fresh flowers looking great too. Just add two tablespoons of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to the water and do the same every time you change the water.
6. Keep your vases clean
If you use a vase regularly, you will get a build-up of harmful bacteria in it and that could be what’s causing your flowers to die off quickly. To give a vase a good clean, fill it with hot water and then add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda. Scrub the inside of the vase with the mixture and then rinse it out before you put new flowers in.
This one is an old, tried and trusted, way to keep flowers fresh, and it’s more than just an old wives tale. Add a crushed aspirin to the bottom of the vase and then add the water. Change the water every couple of days, adding another crushed aspirin each time, and you’ll be amazed at how much longer your fresh cut flowers last.
8. Keep flowers away from the TV
The best place to place your cut flower to keep them looking good is in a relatively cool place, but somewhere with plenty of light. Keep them away from appliances that might get hot, like computers and the TV. Also, spraying the petals of flowers daily with a light mist of water will help to keep them looking fresh too.
9. Remove all the lower leaves
Before you arrange your flowers in the vase, always remove all the lower leaves so that no leaves at all are in the water. If you leave any leaves in the water they will rapidly start to decompose and bacteria feeding on the leaves will kill the flowers, just as though you’d placed your flowers in a vase full of stagnant water.
10. Copper coins
Some people say that placing a copper coin in the bottom of a vase will extend the life of flowers. It is said that the copper makes the water acidic, which will stop bacteria multiplying. For a final trick for feeding your cut flowers, many people say that adding some soda, like lemonade or Sprite, to the water will keep flowers alive for longer.