How to make flowers last longer
Getting flowers is fantastic, adding colour and warmth to the room, they make the perfect gift.
Freshly cut flowers are often given as a sign of thanks, sympathy, romance or friendship, meaning the thought lasts that little bit longer as every time we walk into the room we’re reminded of that special someone, greeted by a vibrant burst of life and a fresh, natural scent filling the air. The only problem with flowers is that more often than not, they wilt and perish within a couple of days.
Every Time a flower dies because of the carelessness of its owner, its owner is left with a very bad feeling that he let something so beautiful die. The next time someone surprises you with a beautiful bunch of flowers, or you just can’t resist treating yourself, try these useful tips to ensure your flowers last that little bit longer.
How long do flowers last
Most flowers last from 7 days to up to two weeks. If flowers delivered to you live less than 7 days, then you have to leave negative feedback, because florists have not taken proper care and their flowers cannot last and live more than what is said to be usual for all flowers in general.
Of Course, most flowers are different and their type has to be taken under special consideration when counting the life and long-lasting flower days.
How to make cut flowers last longer
When you have beautiful flowers in your home, the last thing you want to see is that they are wilting and dying after merely a couple of days. Therefore, you want to try the best that you can to make sure that they stay fresh for as long as possible, enabling you to enjoy their beauty for as long as you can. After all, it has been scientifically proven that flowers elevate your mood and can make you feel happier.
There are a few things you can do when preparing your bouquet. A good plant food kills bacteria and nourishes the flower, overall enhancing the life of the plant. Often, bouquets are sold with a sachet of plant food, but there are some things you can try at home to extend the life of household flowers.
Methods to keep flowers from dying
Depending on where you are getting your flowers from, you may find a little sachet of plant or flower food stuck to the stems of your flowers. This is great, especially if you are not paying anything extra for it.
However, if you do not have plant or flower food attached to your flowers, what do you do to keep your flowers fresh for longer?
Try adding a few squeezes of fresh lemon or lime juice into freshwater, just as you would imagine with such a zesty fruit, the sugar and acids in citrus acts as the perfect invigorating food for your flowers making them last longer.
This is an interesting method but needs to be topped up often and might take more effort for doing so.
Apple Cider Vinegar + Sugar
Sugar is used to sweeten almost anything. From coffee to cakes to pies, we use sugar like there is no tomorrow. Even where our beauty is concerned, sugar has been used to exfoliate and treat wounds.
But did you know this sweet wonder can also be used to keep your flowers fresh? Yes, that’s right. Adding three teaspoons of sugar (brown or white) to two tablespoons of white vinegar will make the perfect stay fresh for longer remedy. Simply add this mixture to the vase, fill it up with warm water (the way you would usually fill it) and voila! The sugar will work on the stems, keeping them strong and healthy, whilst the vinegar will prevent the growth of bacteria which would usually grow and then attack your flowers.
Aspirin can work wonders on a migraine so why not on your flowers? Simply crush a single aspirin and add it to the water before putting your flowers in.
It will prevent bacterial growth and keep your flowers looking as beautiful as ever.
Another alternative to aspirin that would also do the job would be a vitamin tablet. Simply use as you would with the aspirin.
Adding a quarter of a teaspoon of plain household bleach to 800ml of water will also keep your flowers fresh for longer.
The bleach will fight and prevent bacterial growth, meaning that your flowers are less likely to wither due to disease, thus keeping them alive and fresh for longer.
Pennies aren’t called lucky for no reason! So drop a lucky penny in your vase and see the magic they do on your flowers.
Pennies are made of copper, which is an excellent fungicide. Meaning that it prevents fungal growth in your vase. Fungus would instantly attack your flowers and cause disease, so by keeping your water and vase fungus free, you will be keeping your flowers disease free.
One option is to buy your own plant or flower food. This can be bought from florists and almost all department stores that sell flowers.
However, do you really want to be spending extra money, especially after having spent a lot of money on a beautiful bunch of flowers? Surely, there must be a cheaper, more economical solution right? Well, there is and this article will be discussing how you can use items found in the household to make your own remedies that will do the same job as flower or plant food, but at a fraction of the cost.
This is one of THE WORST ways you can preserve your flowers.
There has been a trend in social media for keeping flowers fresh and long lasting by using hair spray, but that is all wrong. Anything that has a lot of drying effect helps preserve the petals, but makes them dry out. So, if you wish to make your flowers live longer, do not use hairspray.
Or Seven UP helps the ethylene production, a ripening gas that helps plants mature, slows the wilting of the flowers.
Sprite is also an option and, interestingly, a vase full of half water and half Sprite or 7 up is a brilliant plant food for your flowers. The sugars invigorate, refresh and nourish the flowers, whereas the acids present neutralise the water, making it the best concoction for long lasting flowers.
You could just as easily add a few drops of vodka to the water before putting the flowers in the vase. This will once again tackle and prevent any bacterial or fungal growth, keeping your flowers looking and feeling fresh.
Where should I store fresh flowers
When you’ve just got your flowers home, you immediately want to get them in a vase, but ensuring you prepare your flowers properly can significantly enhance their lifespan.
First of all, opt for a glass vase over metal ones, as this can affect the acidity of the water. If you can plant them in a pot, that would make the flowers live longer. Otherwise, use the methods mentioned above!
Now for pruning the stems: always use a sharp knife to cut the stems, never scissors or shears, and doing it under water will help the stem and keep it healthy. Cutting at a 45 degree angle also helps to ensure your flower absorbs water quickly through the stem.
Where you chose to display your bouquet has a significant impact on the health and life of the flower.
Often, we quickly opt for the centre of the room or table, to attract attention and take centre stage, but it is important to choose carefully where you place your bouquet. Your usual choice on the fireplace? Here, it could be directly affected by heat or bright light, damaging the leaves. Or, perhaps you like to have your flowers on the windowsill? Is this near a radiator that’s drying out the petals prematurely, and is there too much bright light? Think carefully about the sun, heat and air that will be in close proximity to your flowers. It is best to opt for somewhere which is cool, with equal amounts of light and shade.
Put your flowers in a fridge during the night and no more than 6 hours.
It is said that a cooler temperature makes the aging of the flowers slower, hence they need a certain temperature to develop and mature and most of the time this temperature is high.
Always fill your vase with slightly warmer water; it nourishes your plant more quickly as it absorbs through the stems with vigour.
Top 5 flowers that last long
There’s nothing more depressing than flowers that are well past their sell-by date and that are over in a flash. Here are our top five recommendations for the most long lasting blooms. They also work well in combination with each other and can make for some bold, dramatic and contemporary floral arrangements.
This tropical plant, found in South America and the Pacific islands, is reminiscent of rainforests and gardens full of hummingbirds. These are specimens typically found in botanical gardens and greenhouses, but are wonderful as cut plants. The fleshy flowers, typically looking more like deep red leaves, can survive as long as a month when properly looked after. Great varieties include Heliconia wagneriana and Heliconia pendula. The petals are strong and not the delicate little things we may be more used to.
Commonly known as birds of paradise flowers, these are becoming increasingly popular with florists. Striking and tall, their flowers do truly resemble a bird or large butterfly. An evergreen perennial, they come from South Africa but can also grow across Mediterranean climes. In deep yellows, purples and oranges, they create a real focal point and are popular with both men and women. As a cut flower, they will also last as much as a month.
They may be shy and rare, but they’re also strong and hardy as cut plants. Rather more delicate than the exuberant heliconia and strelitzia, they are expensive but worth it. With an incredible variety – some 25,000 species – they mainly range in colour from whites, through pinks to purple. Some are deep reds, yellows or oranges, some variegated.
From the most expensive and rare, to amongst the cheapest and most widely available! Carnations are incredibly popular and can be dyed to almost any colour imaginable. They also fit in well with many other blooms, so are great for bouquets and arrangements, with tulips, roses and hyacinths, for example. This simple flower can last up to three weeks with proper care, kept out of direct sunlight and away from draughts or heat.
Hibiscus – back to the tropics again, where Hibiscus grows huge, showy flowers. Like their tropical and subtropical cousins, these showstoppers can last for over a month. In delicate or bright shades, from white through the red spectrum, with even some varieties that are almost blue. They have a very long and distinctive stigma and anthers to carry lots of pollen. They conjure up images of Tahitian beauties and Hawaiian gardens, but are found as far afield as India, China and Malaysia – where the hibiscus is the national flower.