Our good friends at Fresh Flowers, leading online florist Australians love, gave the Table For Two team these tips on the care of cut flowers for our readers.
The scientific reason cut flowers can wilt in a short space of time is that the plants roots preserve the stem from bacteria, provides filtered PH balanced water and essential minerals to the stem from the soil. However, when the stem is separated from the roots by being cut from the plant, there is a lack of essential minerals and it significantly affects the water uptake to the stem. Consequently, the natural phenomenon is affected, and the blossom cannot sustain for a longer period.
With this in mind, here are some useful tips to maintain the elegance and ensure the longevity of flowers after they are cut from the stem.
1. Washing off the vase properly: Generally, people do not keep the flowers in the vase on a regular basis and the vase accumulates dust over the unused period. Therefore, the vase should be washed properly with hot water and bleach using a soft scrub. It should be allowed to dry out naturally by placing it upside down. This process will get rid of the possible bacteria in the vase before placing the flowers in it.
2. Condition the Water:Although the water from the tap is suitable for the flowers, it is better to condition the water for booming flowers. Additionally, the quantity of water to be added to the vase depends on the nature of the stem of the flower. For instance, if the stem of the bloom is predominantly hard and woody, it will require more water and therefore, it is essential to fill the vase with more than half full of water. However, if the stem is softer, then it requires shallower water in the vase and below half fill is enough in this case. After pouring the water into the vase, you should allow the water to settle and reach room temperature. The reason behind ensuring the warmer temperature is to allow the cut stem to adapt and intake water efficiently.
3. Use of Supplement: The supplement is known as “flower food” is a mixture of bactericide, citric acid, and sugar. A single sachet of the mixture is enough for a litre of water and one should be careful not to overdose. Each substance in the mix has a role to play such as bleach eliminates the bacteria, sugar provides energy to the stem and blossoms and citric acid helps to maintain the PH balance of water to enhances the effectiveness of bactericide. The mix could be prepared at home by using 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of bleach and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. You need to dissolve the mixture with 1 fourth cup of warm water. However, if this is not feasible, you can simply change the water in the vase every 24 hours to ensure a perfect vase environment for the flowers.
4. Check the Stem: Measure and cut the height of the stem according to the height of vase and use a sharp instrument such as a knife or scissors to cut the root at an angle. The purpose of cutting the stem at an angle is to allow a wide opening for the stem to uptake water and it also prevents the stem from settling flat on the surface. The sharp instruments will cut the steam neatly without damaging the area for water uptake. Also, while cutting the stem, you should also remove the foliage that will fall below the water line, as that will eventually decompose and may also introduce bacteria into the water.
5. Find a Suitable Location:The vase should be placed a cool and safe location which is distant from the effect of heat such as direct sunlight or household appliances which are likely to produce heat. The reason behind this precaution is to prevent the flower from transpiring more water when exposed to the heat and ultimately preventing it from withering away. Additionally, the flower should not be placed closer to any fruits or vegetable as the ethylene gas that is most likely to be released from fruits as it ripens, may poison the flower, and cause it to wilt.
6. Regular Check:Simply because you have followed the tips above for maintaining a healthy environment for the flowers does not mean that you can neglect the flowers for more than 2 days. Despite all these measures, there are chances for the bacteria to form in the water and harm the stem. You need to check the flowers regularly, trim the stem by an inch from time to time to prevent clogging and change the water if it seems to be cloudy.
The Table For Two team would like to thank Fresh Flowers for their assistance with this article and recommend them if you are wanting to order flowers for delivery anywhere in Australia! You can visit their website here: https://www.freshflowers.com.au