To keep your fresh cut flowers looking vibrant as long as possible, here are a few tips. Before venturing out to a cutting garden, have a pair of clean, sharp hand pruners in hand, a bucket filled with tepid water with a conditioning agent (flower powder or a nutrient-rich hydrator*), and gardening gloves.
- Ideally, select flowers about to blossom or early in their bloom.
- Cut the stem on a diagonal to increase the surface area absorbing water and low enough to adjust the height later.
- Immediately place into your bucket!
If you’ve been given fresh flowers or purchased them from the farmers market, follow these next steps to arrange your flowers:
- Choose a vase. Dark glass or ceramic is best to shield the stems from sunlight which increases the rate of decay.
- Fill the vase with clean water*
- Remove all stem foliage that will fall below the water line.
- The white part of tulip and hyacinth stems should be removed because they will not absorb water.
- Soft-stemmed flowers can benefit from a hot-water dip. Poppies are best enjoyed unpicked, but if you must, the stems need to be cauterized to seal in the sap. You can achieve this by immersing the bottom of the stems in boiled water for 20 seconds or hold them over a candle or lighter flame until the ends are sealed.
- Remove a few of the outer petals from roses to encourage the blossom to fully open.
- Woody stems should be scored or smashed to allow for better water absorption.
- Place your arrangement in a cool location away from direct sunlight.
- Refresh the water daily and trim the stems at a diagonal.
*DIY recipe – 1 qt water, 1 tsp bleach (the bleach helps kill any bacteria growing in the vase and serves the same purpose as adding a penny, since the copper acts as a fungicide) 1 tsp vinegar, and 1 Tbs sugar (some use a bit of clear sugary soda such as Sprite and this works well too!)