Beautiful bouquets of cut flowers can turn any room into a garden. Whether you receive them as a gift, buy them yourself or grow your own, sometimes even the best gardeners have trouble keeping their cut flowers fresh and blooming indoors. A lot depends on how fresh the flowers were when you bought them, but there are some tips that can get your flowers off to a running start and keep them blooming.
1. Snip off the base of the stem
This helps maintain the water flow up the stalk of the flower. Sometimes the stems can have air pockets that stop the water from reaching the flower head. The stems should be snipped at least 2 cm from the base of the stem at an angle.
2. Keep flowers away from sun and heat
The hotter flowers get, the faster they release water (transpire). Their life is significantly reduced when you put them near a window or close to the heater.
3. Change the water
Still water can build up bacteria that blocks the flower of water up the stem of the flower. The base of the stems start to rot and smell stale. Fresh, pure water every few days can prolong the life span of your flowers for up to a week.
4. Add preservatives
Flowers are living plant material and therefore need to be fed. Your local florist can provide preserving mixtures when you buy an arrangement, or you can add sugar and bleach. A dash of bleach stops algal growth. Sugar provides energy to the flowers so they can continue to develop. This helps them to last long enough for buds to fully open and for the vase life of the flowers to be extended.
5. Flowers and fruit don't mix
Fruit gives off a gas called ethylene. This gas speeds up the life of any produce around it. Flowers can rapidly deteriorate when around fruit.
6. Remove leaves below waterline
Any leaves sitting below the waterline can rot and block the flow of water up the stem.
7. In the evening when you go to bed, place the flowers in a refrigerator if possible. Otherwise, find the coolest place in your home, perhaps the garage. But, do not leave them in any area which could reach the low thirties of freezing temperatures.