For St. Valentine's Day there's no better way to put a smile on someone's face than to give them fresh flowers. And I suppose the bloom of the day would have to be the rose. There so many varieties of fresh flowers to choose from any of them would be a treat.
If you receive some of these beauties of course the name of the game is to make them last as long as possible. There are actually some things you can do that work.
For instance, feeding them. Even though these have been cut, nutrient is still important.
Begin by preparing a solution of lukewarm water to about the same amount of lemon lime soda and a couple of teaspoons of bleach. The sugar and the soda actually serve as the food and the citric acid helps the flower take up the food more efficiently. And the bleach, well it just keeps the water clean. Now you can get these little packets from the florist, which serve the same purpose but this is just a simple homemade recipe that's always worked for me.
Now it may seem odd that one should have to feed their cut flowers but it really works. A couple years ago I did an experiment. I put one bouquet of roses in the solution and the other in just plain water. Those put in the solution stayed beautiful 4 to 5 days longer.
Before you slip the flowers into the solution, remove the lower leaves like this and then I always recut the stems under water at a slight angle. This seems particularly helpful with roses.
It's also important to know that they will stay fresher longer no matter what the flower is if you'll keep them as cool as possible and out of a sunny window.
From the garden, I'm Allen Smith.
P. Allen Smith Gardens
© 1998 - Hortus, Ltd.