Extending Plant Life

Freshly-cut flowers are so beautiful when placed in any space, but keeping them alive takes some hard work once they’ve been cut. So, how do you keep them around for just a little longer? For one, you can go for flowers that have a longer lifespan.

If you were gifted a bouquet and had little to no control over what flowers you got, there’s still a way to give them more time. Stick to these tips, and you’ll benefit from the freshness flowers have to offer for more than a couple of days.

Extending Plant Life

Cut the Stems

Once a flower is separated from its stem, you need to keep snipping at that end to ensure that it can absorb water. Don’t just pick up a pair of blunt scissors - take off 2-inches with sharp garden shears for the most effective maintenance. If you don’t have garden shears, a sharp pair of scissors will work.

Also, ensure that you cut it at a slant, so that the stem isn’t just sitting flat at the bottom of the vase. The aim here is to ensure that the flower can adequately absorb water for as long as there’s room to keep cutting.

Pick the Right Vase

By now, it should be evident that not all vases are suited for all flowers. Don’t just go on a whim or use what’s available; the kind of vase you use gives the flowers a higher chance of survival. The rule of thumb to apply here is that bigger and bulkier blooms are better when cut short and placed in a shallow vase. This gives them the stability to support each other once they bloom.

On the other hand, lighter flowers should be stored in a taller vase because they need all the support they can get.

Arrange them Properly

It’s best not to simply dump the flowers in some water - before even putting them in a vase, let them soak in a deep container of water. Then you can make the transition to a smaller amount in a vase.

Prior to placing them in the vase, ensure no there are no leaves on the area that is submerged in the water. This goes a long way to guard against bacteria growth, which can cut short the time your flowers can last. This step is even more crucial if you’re working with a mixed bouquet.

Change the Water Regularly

Now that they cannot source for their own food, you have the life of these flowers in your hands! It's essential to change the water in the vase every other day to ensure that bacteria isn’t running amok. Also, don’t forget to add the accompanying plant food to keep them nice and fresh.

If the flowers did not come with plant food, some viable alternatives are aspirin, sugar, and lemonade.

Regulate the Temperature and Light Exposure

Any exposure to direct heat or sunlight will end up wilting your flowers before you know it’s even happened. So, go for naturally cooler temperatures when looking for spaces to place them. Also, stay away from cooling or heating vents, window sills, and even fans - being in proximity to any of these will cause dehydration, which is not acceptable in any scenario.

Read more from the Our Guide to preserving flowers series

This article was published by Direct2Florist - A family business specialising in flower delivery via independent local florists.

Winners of the BFA Floristry Service Providers of the Year Awards 2018 and 2019


By Miles Warner 21 September 2020