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4 Tips To Keep Your Cut Flowers Fresh

Flowers in your home are beneficial for your well-being. Several scientific studies show the benefits of flowers and plants to patients recovering from surgery. One of my favorites is found here. When our gardens are full of flowers, it is fun to cut some of them and bring them indoors. It's not so fun to see them drooping and dying just a day or two later. There are almost as many suggestions on how to keep your flowers fresh, as there are flowers and many of them not useful. Below are four simple and effective ways to help you keep flowers fresh in your home longer.

1. Change the water in the vase or container regularly.

When the water in your vase turns cloudy, it is a sign of bacteria in your water. Bacteria thrive on the stems of your flowers and clog the stem up. Food and water can’t move up the stem as easily or eventually at all. Often the bacteria are multiplying before you see any sign in the water. The safest bet is to change the water every other day. It is also a good idea to clean the vase too.

2. Trim the stems at a 45-degree angle when you first place them in water and recut them each time you change the water.

When the flowers stems are cut at an angle, the surface area of the stem increases and the flowers can take up more water. Try not to crush or bruise the stems. Sharp tools are a real plus here, and knives tend to work better than scissors. Also, be sure to trim any leaves from the stem that will be submerged in the water.

3. Water temperature makes a difference

When you go out to your garden to cut flowers, take a bucket of warm water with you. The water should be 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the flowers in the warm water as soon as you cut them. Warm water has fewer air bubbles than cold water and moves up the stems faster.

4. Place flowers (vase and all) in the refrigerator at night.

This is probably the least practical and most beneficial step. Flowers respire at a much faster rate in warmer temperatures. While placing your flowers in the refrigerator might not be feasible every night moving them to the coldest room in your house or at least our of the warmest room will help significantly.

Take these four steps, and you will dramatically increase the enjoyment of your cut flowers. You will also spare yourself the time, energy, and money trying aspirin, pennies, sprite or vodka. Please let us know your experience keeping cut flowers fresh in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to the blog or follow me on twitter at H2oTrends.


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Richard Restuccia

Richard is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. Richard is a spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. He served on the Irrigation Association's Board of Directors and is a University of California Master Gardener. Richard also writes for other publications and is an award winning contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine. In 2014 his efforts were recognized with a “Leadership in Landscape” award. He has a great interest in the supply of clean water for people in developing countries and as an outdoorsman, spends his free time running, swimming and surfing.

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