How to Make Flowers Last

“Why do you spend money of flowers when they’re going to die anyway?” my Granny asked me a few years back after receiving flowers from my then boyfriend.  Those stunning tulips looks pristine for two days and then drooped onto the table never to rise again.  As temporary as live cut flowers are, I still love them and look forward to receiving them.

The GG recently gave me some stunning roses that lasted for almost two weeks with some TLC on my part.  With some trial and error and research, I feel as though I have finally figured out how to make flowers last a bit longer than the norm. Make sure you scroll down for homemade flower preserve recipes.

How to Make Flowers Last Longer

Flowers are more likely to come with flower preservative packet when purchase from a flower shop or bodega, however, farmer’s market flowers or the Flower District flowers I’ve purchased rarely come with it.  What’s so special about floral preservatives?  It  provides the fresh cut flowers with water and food and contains a disinfectant to prevent bacteria from growing.

PREPPING FLOWERS

To make flowers last a bit longer than the norm, I prep them as soon as I get home.

  • Fill a large mouth vase or bucket with warm water (110 degree water is best)
  • Cut the stems under running water to prevent minimize air circulation, which dries out the flowers, with a clean, sharp knife or shears and plunge into the warm water immediately.
  • Trim the leaves around the flowers, making sure no leaves are below the water
  • Let flowers sit in the coolest part of your apartment/house for 2 hours

ARRANGING FLOWERS

  • Make sure your vase is clean prior to arranging flowers
  • Fill vase with 110 degree Fahrenheit water and mix in floral preservative
  • Arrange flowers just the way you like it
  • Give flowers fresh warm water daily to replace the water used up by plants
  • Empty the vase an trim the flowers every few days and give it fresh water to preserve them
  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts

DIY FLOWER PRESERVATIVES

If you don’t have the floral preservative packet on hand, you can definitely get crafty in the kitchen by these three home made versions courtesy of About.com.

Mix the following ingredients together and add to your vase before arranging flowers. Remove any unnecessary leaves because they will accelerate dehydration of the flowers.

  • 2 cups lemon-lime carbonated beverage (e.g., Sprite™ or 7-Up™)
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 2 cups warm water

Mix the following ingredients together and add to your vase before arranging flowers. Remove any unnecessary leaves because they will accelerate dehydration of the flowers.

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 1 quart warm water

Mix the following ingredients together and add to your vase before arranging flowers. Remove any unnecessary leaves because they will accelerate dehydration of the flowers.

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 1 quart warm water

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