Here we explore the myths and facts around helping your flowers last longer. Fallacies abound when it comes to making fresh flowers last longer. You will hear about all sorts of absurd ideas, so it’s time to debunk the many common myths and urban legends around sustaining freshly cut flowers for longer.
Flower Facts Versus Flower Fiction
If one takes a scientific approach, it will be seen that many of the common suggestions for getting flowers to last longer have no basis in fact. We will examine some of the more popular misconceptions before providing you with proven remedies that actually do work. This applies to when you send flowers to a loved one, and want to sustain their beauty, as much as it does to any typical indoor flowers.
The idea that adding pennies or copper coins to a vase to help flowers last is a fallacy that has been doing the rounds for some time. The truth is, copper pennies don’t prolong the life of cut flowers at all! Although copper does act as a fungicide, the copper in coins is not soluble in water. This means adding copper coins to a vase serves no purpose at all.
Adding a few drops of vodka to a vase of freshly cut flowers does, surprisingly, help to prolong their life. Just be careful not to overdo it! The vodka acts as a biocide and will help to prevent the spread of bacteria. Vodka also helps to inhibit freshly cut flowers from producing ethylene, the chemical gas responsible for ripening and wilting.
While vodka does work to some degree, we would rather recommend making use of a commercially available flower preservative.
Sprite and 7-UP
The sugars in these soft-drinks can provide food for your flowers. However, they will also promote bacterial growth. You could always add a few drops of bleach to help counteract microbial population explosions. Adding bleach should be done with caution. Get the balance wrong, and you will kill your lovely flowers.
Once again, we would not recommend this method. Years of experience have taught us that when it comes to maximising the life of your freshly cut flowers, nothing beats a commercial flower preservative. And most florists actually provide a small packet of preservative with the original flower delivery.
Adding a crushed up aspirin to a vase of freshly cut flowers is a popular remedy which we are unable to comment on with any certainty. Some studies have shown aspirin to work, while others don’t.
A general consensus among florists and botanists is that aspirin has little effect on extending the life of freshly cut flowers. Far better results could be achieved with a commercially made preservative.
Commercial Flower Preservatives
Many local florists will recommend the use of commercial flower preservatives. These are scientifically formulated to contain a life support system for the cut flower. They are easy to apply and won’t cost you a fortune.
A quality flower preservative will have three basic ingredients. These are an acidifier, a biocide and a sugar. While these terms may sound like something out of an alchemist’s lair, they are actually pretty straight forward.
The acidifier enables water to travel up the stem easier. This helps to prevent wilting. The sugar acts as a source of food while the biocide is just a fancy name for a bunch of chemicals that kill bacteria, fungi and yeasts which feed off the sap.
Flower Sustaining Tips That Actually Work:
Use a very sharp knife to cut your flowers rather than scissors. Scissors squash the stems and reduce the flowers ability to absorb water. For woody or thick stemmed flowers, the use of a sharp pair of garden shears is recommended.
Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle. This improves water absorption rates. You can also trim a quarter of an inch off the stems every alternate day to ensure a steady flow of water up the stems.
Keep the water as fresh as possible by changing it regularly. Remove any excess foliage from the flowers. Decomposing leaves should be removed from the water as they increase the amount of bacteria.
Keep your cut flowers away from fruit. As fruit ripens, it releases a gas which causes flowers to speed up their bloom development, making them fade faster. You can also keep your flowers fresh by placing them in a refrigerator overnight.
Keep cut flowers out of bright sunlight to prevent excessive water loss and prolong blooming.
All of the local florists that are creating amazing and unique floral designs typically guarantee no less than 7 days freshness. Taking advantage of these tips may prolong their vase-life, but you can buy or send flowers with confidence that they’ll look great for a whole week. Browse our huge selection of floral arrangements, and take advantage of the most unique and beautiful floristry available online today!