Ten tips to make cut flowers last longer
1. Cut flowers in the early morning or evening.
2. Use a sharp, clean knife or clippers. Nettie Rynearson, owner of Uncanoonuc Mt. Perennials in Goffstown, suggests Felco F-2 pruning shears.
3. Cut newly opened or half-opened flowers. Mums are best cut fully open.
4. Cut on an angle just above a set of leaves.
5. Put blooms directly into a clean bucket partially filled with water.
6. Bring cut flowers inside and remove all foliage below the water line.
7. Add a floral preservative to a clean bucket and fill with lukewarm water to just below the foliage and/or blossoms. The preservatives provide nutrients and slow bacterial growth.
8. Let cut flowers “condition” or crisp overnight in a cool spot, such as the cellar or garage.
9. Use clean vases with fresh lukewarm water and preservative to create arrangements. Re-cut stems on an angle before putting in a vase or floral foam. Woody stems can be split up the bottom an inch or so to help with water uptake.
10. After your arrangement is made:
•Check the water levels daily.
•Avoid placing the arrangement in direct sunlight, high heat or a draft.
•Keep flowers away from ripening fruit; it gives off ethylene gas, which shortens flower life.
•Refrigerate small arrangements overnight.
•Remove flowers as they fade.