The days are getting longer, the breezes are blowing softer and warmer and the season is fast approaching when we will want to bring flowers into our home and garden. If you’ve put the time into growing a beautiful garden, you’ll want to make sure that you do everything you can to ensure that your hard work lasts as long as possible.
Here are a few tips to help you get perfect cut flowers.
1. Sharp Tools
Florists agree that if you want your blooms to stay lovely you need to start with high quality tools to make your creations. Any scissors or stem snippers that you use need to be sharp and free of knicks and dents. Many craft and hardware stores offer in-store tool sharpening services. Have yours serviced before your flower season starts. Dull tools will crush a stem instead of slicing through cleanly, which will lead to a shorter lifespan.
2. Always Cut Underwater
You can have beautiful cut flowers from your own garden and you can refresh cut flowers from your local grocery store by always re-cutting the stems underwater as soon as you get them home. Wherever your flowers are originally cut, you’ll want to recut them to improve longevity. That original cut will heal over, like a scab, and prevent the flower from drawing water up through the stem. This will severely shorten the amount of time your flower will look beautiful inside your home. By cutting underwater you are preventing any air bubbles from entering the stem and disrupting the flow of water to the flower.
3. Diagonal Cuts
As you cut your stems underwater, be sure to cut them on a diagonal. This serves two purposes. First, it gives your stem more water surface area to take up more water into the plant itself and secondly, it prevents your stem from sitting flat against the bottom of your vase and potentially cutting off the free flow of water to your bloom.
Some of the country’s best florists agree that rainwater is the best option for your blooms. It is a naturally soft water, without posing the danger that chemically softened water poses to cut blooms. If rainwater is unavailable, avoid distilled water and choose spring water or tap water that has been allowed to sit out overnight and “de-gas” to avoid too much chlorine.
5. Floral Preservative
Getting chopped off of your roots can give anyone a headache I suppose and calls for a little bit of medicine to aid in survival. There are floral preservatives which can be purchased and added to your cut flower water, but it’s a simple thing to make your own as well.
Just follow this recipe and add to your flower vase water:
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon bleach
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- in 2 quarts of water
If you’re in a hurry, just use 2 quarts of lemon-lime soda instead of the water, sugar and lemon juice to accomplish the same thing.
6. Be Creative
Last, but by no means least, don’t be afraid to be creative in your floral arrangements. Combine colors and textures, differing heights and even unusual elements. Remember: You are the ARTIST!