Hints on how to make your cut flowers last much longer!
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.
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".
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.
simply arrange the flowers how you desire being careful not to overcrowd
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 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.
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.
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
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 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 can cause unusual reactions with water and with many
flower preservatives. This can lead to the preservative being far less
effective in solution.
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.