Getting flowers is fantastic, adding colour and warmth to the room, they make the perfect gift. Freshly cut flowers are often give as a sign of thanks, sympathy, romance or friendship, meaning the thought lasts that little bit longer as every time we walk in to 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. 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.
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.
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. 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. If 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.
Always fill your vase with slightly warmer water; it nourishes your plant more quickly as it absorbs through the stems with vigour.
Now your plant is perfectly pruned and placed, you can also enhance the life by feeding regularly. Branded flower food is often expensive, so why not try these at home remedies to extend the life of your flowers?
Citrus juice: Try adding a few squeezes of fresh lemon or lime juice into fresh water, 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. This is an interesting method but needs to be topped up often.
Sugar and water: Sugar and water is a simple option, but is often famed as the most effective way of enhancing your flowers. Simply add a few teaspoons of general household sugar into warm water, stir, and complete with flowers. Repeat whenever you feel the water needs changing.
Sprite/7up: 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.