The freshness of cut flowers can be extended! Growers and florists know a lot of tricks, and we researched which ones work best at home.

It is not all the same how long you can enjoy the bouquet you received as a gift. The freshness of cut flowers can be extended, even doubled! Growers and florists know a lot of tricks, since it is in their business interest to keep the flower looking fresh and vibrant while they have it  As soon as you take the bouquet home, it’s your job to preserve it.

The sad thing is that the cut flower is no longer alive. However, many of its life processes still work: it breathes, its “circulation” and metabolism work. However, its days are numbered, it slowly dries out, loses its hold, its nutrient reserves run out, and it is attacked by pathogens. So all you can do is give it everything it needs in his last days and protect it from the dangers lurking.

Get it Home Safely

When you take the bouquet home, pay attention to the conditions of the delivery. Lay it down for longer journeys. Do not carry the bouquet in a hot trunk or leave it in the sun. In winter, when it’s freezing outside, wrap it in several layers of paper to prevent it from freezing or catching a cold. If you only want to hand it over the  next day, keep it in a cool place, e.g. in the pantry and wrap a damp cloth around the stems.

Before You Put it in a Vase

Before placing the bouquet in a vase, cut the stems back so that they can absorb more water on the freshly cut surface. With a razor-sharp knife, act quickly so as not to damage the capillary tubes of the stems and prevent air bubbles from entering the path of the water.

Make sure that the leaves do not touch the water, because they will rot quickly, accelerating the growth of bacteria. Pinch or tear off the lower leaves from the stems. Thin out the upper leaves – if this does not spoil the beauty of the bouquet – to reduce evaporation. Remove the buds that would definitely remain closed.

Where to Put the Vase?

Choose a place for the flower bouquet where the sun does not shine on it and it is not drafty, either. The cooler you keep it, the longer it will last. Do not spray its leaves with water, and do not leave fruits in its vicinity, because they accelerate the withering of the flowers.

What Preservative to Use?

If you only pour water into the vase, replace it with fresh water every day. It is best if the stems are 10 centimeters deep in water. There are agents that increase the life of cut flowers. In flower shops, you can get various products in the form of solution, powder or tablet, which are really effective. Such agents usually contain a nutrient, an acid, and an agent against pathogens. Their active ingredients can also be replaced with household products, so if you don’t have a preservative at home, you can make it yourself. Add a teaspoon of sugar, the same amount of lemon juice and three drops of hypo (or similar chlorine bleach) to half a liter of water. The sugar is responsible for the nutrients, the lemon juice for the acidic effect, and the hypo for keeping pathogens at bay. It is enough to change the water containing the preservative every 3-4 days. In this case, also refresh the cutting surface of the stems: cut off 2 centimeters from the end of each one.

Preservation Legends

Ice water or hot water, aspirin, copper pot: such preservation legends often have a basis. It is said that mold grows less quickly in a copper vase. The aspirin solution is acidic, so it is unfavorable for bacteria. Lemon juice and vinegar also provide acidity.

The bouquet should be placed in cold water: they dry out faster in warm water. However, wilted flowers can be temporarily restored by placing them in water at 40-50 °C. If you don’t believe it, try it!

Dried Bouquets

You can also dry the bouquets to preserve them for months. A properly dried bouquet is a beautiful sight, but it never feels as fresh as when it was new. Many professional dryers take on the task of drying wedding bouquets, but flower shops also often undertake the preservation of simpler bouquets. In such cases, the bouquet is taken into pieces, the ingredients are individually frozen, dried, possibly pressed, and then the composition is reassembled. Those who are inclined to experiment can also try drying at home: hang the flowers upside down one by one in a breezy place, and then they can be re-tied into a bouquet. In such cases, however, the colors fade and the petals fall, a process that can only be delayed by using a hairspray.