You have just received a lovely fresh bouquet of flowers and have decided to put them into a jug of water to keep them alive. The next day you notice that the flowers are looking less lively and the petals have begun to wilt. You are probably feeling quite confused, don’t worry you are not alone. Fortunately, preserving fresh cut flowers is not rocket science and with a few simple steps, we can make that special moment last.
Prepare the vase
Choose a vase that is going to allow your flowers to sit comfortably in. We don’t want any parts of the flower or leaves to be submerged or touching water. Once you have chosen the right vessel, it’s now time to disinfect it. Using any common household bleach, clean and rinse the vase thoroughly to ensure that all bacteria have been removed. Bacteria is living and lurking everywhere, and is the largest deterrent to the lifespan of freshly cut flowers by causing rot and decay. When a flower is cut from its root system, it loses its one of its major defenses. This allows bacteria and fungi to enter through the stem and prevent water intake by blocking the water-transporting cells.
Add the water
Adding water may seem easy but getting it right is as important as the barista getting coffee your order correct first thing in the morning. As much as a life source coffee is to us, water is what keeps your flowers alive. Always use warm water with a temperature of 37-43 degrees celsius as most flowers take in warmer water more efficiently than cold.
Prepare the flowers
To ensure your flowers receive optimal water intake, use a sharp knife or clippers, and make an angular cut 1 – 2 centimetres from the end of the stem. By cutting on an angle we prevent the stems from sitting flat on the bottom of the vase and enhance water flow. Avoid cutting with scissors as this may crush the stem and reduce your flowers lifespan. Ensure that no leaves or greenery are touching or sitting below the water line in the vase as this encourages bacteria and fungi to form in the water. However, do not remove all the leaves from the stem as flowers require them for the hydration process. Remember, flowers are quite delicate so be gentle in the pruning process because any gashes or breaks in the stem can allow bacteria to enter.
Feed your fresh flowers
Normally attached to the plant, a flower receives its nourishment through its root system which allows it to grow and blossom beautifully. When we remove a flower, we are essentially taking it away from its life source but it still needs to eat. Just like a pet goldfish, we need to feed the flowers. Fresh flower food has been developed to simulate the flowers original environment which allows the cut flowers to grow and develop.
Flower food are well-balanced mixtures that typically contain:
- Sucrose serves as an energy source that replaces the function of the leaves and ensures continued development and growth of the flowers.
- Acidifier which helps balance out the pH levels of the water used and stabilize colour pigments. Most households water sources are alkaline which reduces the lifespan of cut flowers. The acidifier works by bringing the pH levels up to a more natural level of a cell sap allowing for the stems to easily absorb. This will result in your cut flowers being healthy and colourful.
- Good Bacteria that has been designed to stunt the growth of bacteria in the water. AS much as flowers enjoy feeding on sucrose, so does bacteria.
- Additional agents that prevent salts, dirt, and debris from being absorb into the stem.
The Do’s and Don’ts with fresh cut flowers
- Keep flowers at room temperature between 18 – 22 degrees Celsius.
- Ensure vase has been thoroughly cleaned.
- Cut on an angle 1 – 2 cm from the bottom of the stem.
- Change the water every few days, remove any fallen flowers or greens, and add new flower food.
- Do not keep flowers on top of televisions or microwaves as the radiated heat can cause flowers to dehydrate.
- Do not display flowers in direct sunlight, heating or cooling and keep away from any direct draughts, fans or vents.
- Do not overwater.
Feeling like you want to put this advice to practice? Have a look at our flower bunch of the day, if you order before 12.30, you’ll have it delivered on the same day. We deliver for all Perth suburbs located South the river.