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Handy Hints on how to make your cut flowers last much longer!

Handy Hints
The Basics

Remove the flowers from their packaging and cut the stems at 45 degrees with a sharp knife or secateurs to enable the greatest surface area for water consumption. DO NOT use scissors and DO NOT crush the stems in any manner as this will damage the stems ends and inhibit the uptake of water by the flowers.

When you start to arrange the flowers, first ensure that the vase you use is very clean. This can be done by cleaning the vase with bleach on the inside which kills any bacteria and algae that has formed in the vase. Fill the vase with good, clean, fresh cold water and add cut flower food preferably "Flourish".

Remove any leaves that may be submerged in the water from all flower stems on all varieties of flowers. These leaves breakdown when left and cause decay, thus reducing the life of the flowers.

Lastly, simply arrange the flowers how you desire being careful not to overcrowd the vase.

Avoid the following conditions:

Hot weather
When flowers are exposed to heat, they respire at a greater rate than at lower temperatures. Respiration is basically what causes ageing in most living organisms. Flowers have high rates of respiration, making them one of the most perishable of all agricultural crops. The cooler the room or location they are displayed, the longer they will last.

Cold conditions below 4 degrees Celsius
Conversely, actual internal flower cells can easily become damaged if subjected to very low temperatures. Flowers grown in tropical areas, such as Orchids and Anthuriums, are particularly susceptible to low temperature damage. Never put your flowers in a freezer or anywhere that is below 4 degrees Celsius.

Draughty positions
Draughty positions are also unfavourable spots to locate your flowers. The petals tend to dry out and respire more quickly in these areas. A corner position is preferable to a hallway or near open doors.

Direct sunlight
Flowers which are subjected to direct sunlight can easily become overheated, resulting in an increased rate of respiration and the drying out of petals etc, leading to reduced vase life.

Air conditioning
It has been noted that usually with air conditioning (especially in large offices or stores), fresh flowers tend to dry out very quickly. This is particularly the case with flowers that have large, exposed petals.

Ripening fruit and vegetables
Perhaps one of the biggest enemies of cut flowers is ethylene gas which is given off by ripening fruit and vegetables. It speeds up the dying process of many flowers. Some of the more sensitive varieties to ethylene gas are Carnations, Roses, Orchids, Lilies, Sweet Williams and Gypsophila.

Crushing or splitting of flower stems
Unfortunately in the past, many people have been led to believe that the crushing or splitting of flower stems is a good way of extending vase life. Recent tests have shown that this method generally does not work. It actually does tremendous damage to the tiny tube-like vessels in the stems, blocking the flow of water up to the flower heads, and leads to a faster discoloration of the vase water too.

Other dead flowers
When flowers are arranged in a vase, some of the flower heads will naturally die before others. It is a good idea to remove these heads quickly, because if left on the stems, they not only look unsightly, but will give off small amounts of ethylene gas, which will diminish the life of any remaining flowers.

Dirty water
Dirty water provides a perfect breeding ground for microscopic bacteria to breed rapidly. These bacteria attach themselves to the stem ends and block the flow of water up to the flower heads. You should always change the vase water regularly or use a good cut flower food such as
"Flourish" which will decrease the rate at which these bacteria breed.

Metal containers
Metal containers can cause unusual reactions with water and with many flower preservatives. This can lead to the preservative being far less effective in solution.

By following the above information and using a cut flower food preferably "Flourish", your flowers will live longer, giving satisfaction for the recipient and the sender of the flowers.



Australian Flourish Pty Ltd
10 Elvie St, Doncaster East, Victoria, Australia, 3109.
(ADMIN - by appointment only)
Phone: 03 9842 9458

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