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8 simple tips for longer lasting fresh cut flowers

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

A fresh flower bouquet brings us such joy because of the sentiment behind it. To help keep your flowers fresh for as long as possible, we’ve got some simple tips to share:

  1. Get a proper vase Where the circumstance allows, do not leave the bouquet in its wrapping overnight. Prepare a vase of appropriate size and height. You may first sterilize it using a sponge and detergent, then fill it one-third to two-third full with fresh lukewarm water.

  2. Cut the flower stems Stems are your flowers’ lifeline. Treating them right helps flowers stay fresh. Before placing the flowers in the vase, rinse the stems with fresh water. Then, cut off the bottom at a sharp, clean angle (roughly 45 degrees) to maximise water absorption. Place the flowers in the vase as soon as their stems have been cut, or you may do the cutting under water to begin with. In the first instance, you may need to cut as long as 3-5cm off, as the bottom part of the stem might have been blocked by air bubbles after being sealed for as long as days. Afterwards, retrim your flowers every 1-3 days. A sharp knife or a pair of secateurs does the job nicely.

  3. Cut off excessive leaves Every leaf along the stem is taking up nutrients from the water. Keep only the leaves on the portion of the stem above water level. Cut off the rest. Do not let soaked leaves rot and ruin the water.

  4. Nourish them When it comes to sources of nutrients for your flowers, a daily supply of fresh water generally suffices. If your flowers are beginning to droop, add a sachet of flower food (typically in the form of liquid or powder) to the water. Different brands of flower food may have a different food-water ratio. Make sure you follow the instructions on the sachet for that.

  5. Maintain moisture Like human skin, fresh flowers are best kept moist. Place your vases at a ventilated place at home, away from air-con vents and direct sun ─ these environments accelerate dehydration. Also, keep them away from fruits. The ripening of fruits release ethylene, causing more rapid ageing of flowers and leaves

  6. Keep the petals away from water With the exception of flowers like hydrangeas which take in water from their petals, the petals of most flowers are prone to rot in water. If you cannot be sure how the petals of your flowers would react when in contact with water, play it safe and keep them away from it.

  7. Change the water daily Bacteria begins to grow in stagnant water within 48 hours. Change the vase water every day, or at least every 2 days in summer and every 3 days in winter. When changing the water, check the bottom part of the flower stems and retrim them as needed. Check if the inside of the vase requires cleaning as well.

  8. Separate daffodils from other flowers Avoid putting daffodils in a vase with other flowers. Daffodil mucilage contains alkaloids that may cause premature wilting of certain flowers such as roses and tulips, although there are flowers like irises that have higher tolerance to the alkaloids.

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