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How to care for cut flowers and tips to make your flower arrangement last longer

Care of Cut Flowers

Your care helps flowers last longer
Because they are living things, cut flowers are sensitive to their environment. Cool temperatures and an optimum supply of water will extend their life and beauty. If you bring your flowers home in a car, be sure they are not in a sunny spot. At home, do not keep them near a heater nor in direct sunlight.

Recut the stem under water to ensure maximum flower life
Make sure the container is clean and remove any foliage that will be below the water level. Recut the stems at an angle. Making the cuts while holding the stems below the water level in a basin of cool water will prevent the stem from drawing in air and so allow an uninterrupted supply of water.

Use distilled, or properly conditioned water to make a major contribution to long-lived floral arrangements
Alkaline water, such as tap water, does not move readily through cut flower stems and can substantially reduce vase life. This problem may be overcome by using distilled or de-ionized water, by acidifying the water with a commercial flower preservative which usually contain enough acid to condition most hard water, or by the conditioning suggested below.

Homemade conditioning and nutrients work well
A homemade solution may be made from 3 parts warm water and 1 part lemon-lime soda. Do not use diet drinks or cola. Add 1/4 tsp. bleach per quart of water. Two tablespoons of Real Lemon lemon juice will also balance alkalinity. Use 2 Tbs. of bottled 'Real Lemon' lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1/4 tsp. of bleach to a quart of warm water. The bleach prevents any growth of bacteria. Add 1/4 tsp. of bleach every 4 days, or change the water and solution completely.

Make your flowers last longer
Certain varieties of cut flowers last longer than others. Carnations, for example, can remain vibrant for long periods. Roses have a shorter vase life, but are prized for their special and delicate beauty. When buying flowers, be sure to ask your florist how long you should expect your arrangement to last. Whatever variety you choose, TLC will go a long way to keep your blooms looking fresh longer.

Flower Essentials
Keep them in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit; 18 to 22 degrees Celsius), away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, direct drafts from a ceiling fan, and the tops of televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give off heat, causing flowers to dehydrate.)

Flowers in wet foam
Keep the floral foam soaked in water containing floral food provided by your florist. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

Flowers in water
Keep the vase filled with water containing floral food provided by your torrance florist. Follow the directions on the flower food package.vIf the solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely. Recut the stems by removing the bottom one to two inches with a sharp knife. Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water will promote bacterial growth that can harm the flowers. When your flowers have woody stems and branches,such as Quince, Forsythia, or Lilac, cut the stem with sharp pruning shears. Place in warm water containing fresh floral food to promote flower blossoms.

Floral food essentials
Floral food is a combination of additives that help to nourish the flowers and discourage bacteria from growing in the water. It is one of the best, and easiest ways to extend the life of your flower arrangements. It is very important to follow the directions on the store package correctly. Improperly mixed floral food can irreperably harm your beautiful cut flowers.

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