How To Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

Last Updated on August 22, 2021 by Grow with Bovees

The pleasure of picking flowers as and when you like, far outweighs any extra trouble in growing them.

Flowers grown in your garden will not drop their petals as easily as those bought and carried home.

Pick flowers for their lasting qualities, selecting those with strong stems, good colour and adaptability.

Spray With This Plant Protector

Using an anti-transpirant on your cut flowers will make them last longer.

This is a clear, protective coating that reduces the amount of moisture that can escape through the foliage of the plant.

It is a clear soft and flexible film that you won’t notice, but has a considerable effect on the moisture loss of your cut blooms.

You can also use it on your potted Christmas tree to make it last longer, and on other plants to protect them from things like sun scald and wind burn. Just one application is all you need from this ready to use spray gun applicator.

Pick Them At The Right Stage Of Development

Roses should be picked when the buds have loosened but are not fully open.

Flowers of the daisy family, such as Chrysanthemums and Daisies, should be picked when fully open.

Carnations should be picked when three-quarters open.

Poppies should be picked in bud.

Gladioli and Irises are best picked in bud with the lowest flowers open.

Remove the faded flowers in the vase.

When cutting flower stems, make a cut at an angle so that the stem does not rest squarely on the vase and prevent water from entering. Fiskars have some excellent snips for cutting flower stems.

Pick At The Right Time Of Day

The best time to cut flowers is in the late afternoon when it is cool, after 4 o’clock.

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The sugar content of the plant has built up during the day and the flowers will last longer than if picked in the morning.

They may be picked in the early morning but never in the heat of the day.

It is best to place the picked flowers in a bucket of cool water overnight, preferably out of doors in summer where they can be kept cool and to arrange them the following morning.

If they must be arranged immediately, give them fairly deep water and add more water to the vases in the morning.

Flowers absorb more water in the first few hours after picking than at any other time.

When picking flowers it is a good idea to carry a small can of water and immediately place the stems in it instead of into a basket.

You should immerse roses in water immediately after picking and snip off 1/4 inch (6 mm) under water in order to get rid of air-bubbles.

Flowers last longer if their leaves are removed to reduce transpiration and other foliage can be used with them instead.

Leaves should never be immersed in the water as they decay and pollute the water, shortening the life of the cut flower.

Use a rose stripper to remove the thorns and skin at the same time from the lower 2 centimeters of rose stems.

Flowers with stems that ooze sap like Poppies, Daisies and Dahlias or that have milky latex like Poinsettia should have their stems burned or boiled in order to prevent the escaping juices from clogging the stem openings.

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The easiest way is to bunch the stems together and singe the ends in the bare flame of a gas fire or candle.

Take care not to allow the heat to play on the flowers.

Otherwise, pour an inch of boiling water into a jug and stand the stems in it, leaving them until the water cools. Do not allow steam to reach the petals.

Flowers with woody stems like Hydrangeas, Chrysanthemums and many flowering shrubs absorb water better if the bark on the base of the stem is peeled off or the base is crushed or the end split upwards with the pruners.

Do Not Place the Vase of Flowers in a Draft

As a gardener, you know that you’re supposed to keep your flowers in a cool place.  But this doesn’t just make them last longer, it also helps them to stay fresher for longer.

Flowers last best in the coolest part of the room.

In fact, if your flowers are kept at a temperature of around 4 °C (39 °F), they will stay fresh for approximately a week longer than they would at a warmer temperature.

Spraying with an atomizer during hot dry weather will help to keep them fresh.

Wilting flowers can be soaked in tepid water and the ends of the stems cut off under water.

One can put things into the water in order to prolong the life of the flower.

A little sugar in the water prevents the loose petals of Larkspur and Delphinium from falling and is also recommended for Asters and Chrysanthemums.

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Alum Is Said To Make Hydrangeas Last Longer

Many gardeners have noticed that something as simple as sprinkling Alum around a hydrangea can make it bloom longer in the warmer months. But what is Alum, and why does it have this effect?

Alum is a naturally occurring mineral.

It is also a common ingredient in household cleaning products, where it is used to remove stains from clothing and prevent odor, and is also found in foot deodorant. (I have no idea why.) Using Alum to prevent Hydrangeas from wilting will not only help you make them last longer, it will also keep your garden looking clean and tidy.

Add A Copper Coin or Hydrogen Peroxide

A copper coin placed in the water is thought to prolong the life of some flowers. The copper acts as an acidifier, which will delay the production of any bacteria, thereby making the blooms last longer.

Adding a little food grade hydrogen peroxide to the water, will help to prevent contamination of the water so that decay is delayed.

We make no attempt here to instruct the gardener on flower arrangements.

A lovely flower or graceful branch will inspire any arrangement, and one should study the methods of those skilled at arranging flowers.