Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Bloomster's Featured In Yahoo! Green
How to keep cut flowers looking fresh
By Trystan L. Bass
Posted Mon May 2, 2011 9:31am PDT
You receive a lovely bouquet of cut flowers on a holiday or just to brighten your day. But you don't want them to wilt overnight.
If you search online, you'll find all kinds of tricks to make cut flowers last longer: add a crushed aspirin to the water, put the flowers in 7-Up, put a copper penny in the vase, add a few teaspoons of bleach or vinegar in the water, etc., etc.
We asked professional florists if any of those home remedies work and what they recommend to keep cut flowers looking good. All the experts agree that commercial flower preservative works better than anything you can concoct at home -- and most florists hand a little packet out free with the bouquet. But that's not the most important thing for keeping cut flowers looking fresh.
According to Kren Rasmussen at Bloomsters, which has been creating floral designs in San Jose, California, for nearly 20 years, cool temperatures and fresh water are the real keys. Keep your flowers in a cooler area of the home and feed them fresh water every day. "People do not realize how much water flowers drink, it really is amazing," says Rasmussen.
"By re-cutting the stems daily, cleaning the vase daily, and placing the flowers in fresh water with floral food, you will be amazed as to how long flowers will last," he advises. Depending on the exact flowers in your arrangement, they should last between 5 and 14 days if treated well.
Clean, fresh water in the vase will do the most to keep cut flowers looking pretty. Adrianna Citti of Citti's Florist, a San Francisco Bay Area florist for 45 years, agrees. "The best way to increase the life of your fresh floral bouquet is to cut the stems on an angle when you receive the bouquet and to fill the vase with water daily," she says.
"Every other day, it's great to change the water," is Citti's advice. "This helps reduce the bacteria, which will prolong the life of the flowers."
There is one home remedy that can revive drooping stems. Rasmussen recommends: "If you have a bottle of alum from your spice rack, you can dab some alum on the bottom of the stem. This help to encourage the flower to draw water and to rehydrate." But again, this is really just helping the flowers get more water.