Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

Valentine’s Day is a special holiday for gardeners because fresh flowers are on the top of the gift-giving list. It is nice to be surrounded by blooms just when winter is beginning to grow weary.

If you are the recipient of long stemmed roses or another type of cut flower, there are a couple of things that you can do to extend the enjoyment of this romantic gift.

The flower preservative packets supplied by florist shops can be added to the water to keep the flowers looking their best.  If those aren’t available, you can mix up your own recipe. Begin by preparing a solution of equal parts lukewarm water and lemon lime soda, one aspirin, and half a teaspoon of bleach. Even after a flower's been cut, it still needs to be fed. The sugar in the lemon lime soda provides nutrients to the flower and the citric acid in the solution allows the nutrients to be taken up more efficiently. The bleach keeps the water clean.  Whether you use a preservative or nor, you should replace the vase water every 3 to 4 days.

Vases of Cut Flowers Before you slip the flowers into the solution, recut the stems under water at a slight angle; this is particularly helpful for roses. Also strip away any leaves that fall below the water line.

Follow these steps for any flowers you may receive as Valentine’s gifts as well as those you prepare to give as presents.  And remember to keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat.

With these techniques you can expect your cut flowers to last an extra four to five days.

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