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How to keep your flowers looking fresh

It is said that, ‘a flower a day keeps gloom away.’ That said, many people find it a difficult task to keep a bouquet of flowers fresh for a while longer. This does not have to be a tedious task. Below are some tips that you could employ to keep them looking bright and lovely for some days. 

Prepping the vase. 

Ensuring that your vase is just the perfect home for your flowers is a must do. Wash your vase with hot water and some bleach. Allow it to naturally dry. 

Why? The hot water and bleach keep any bacteria that can affect the flowers at bay. Allowing the vase to naturally dry is also a measure to ensure that no bacteria gets into the vase. 

Trimming the stems. 

Flower stems generally seal off their ends after staying out of water for a while. Trim your stem ends at an angle (preferably 450) and ½ inches from the ends. You can re-trim them again when you change the water.  

Depending on the type of flowers, handle them as little as possible  

Why? This allows the flowers to take-up water and stops the stems from resting on the base of the vase and eventually sealing off. Re-trimming removes tissue at the tips that may be broken down and exposes fresh tissue. 

Materials to use 

To trim use sharp scissors or a sharp knife. 

Why?  A sharp knife or scissors will guarantee a clean cut. Dull ones smash and press the stem ends and this will damage tissue cells 

Removing leaves

Strip off all leaves below the water line. 

Why? This is an extra measure to keep bacteria away and the leaves from yellowing. 

The water to use

Use lukewarm water for cut flowers. You also want to ensure that you change the water frequently (after every 2-3 days) 

Why? There is less oxygen in lukewarm water and this prevents air bubbles from entering into the stem as this could block water uptake. The frequent water change will keep bacteria that may build up as the stem sits in water at bay. 

The flower food

Use flower food for your fresh flowers.  

Why? Most florists will include a packet of flower food in every bouquet of flowers that you purchase. An average sachet of flower food will contain bleach (antibacterial), sugar (food) and citric acid (acidifier) and this components are added to about 1 litre of water. 

For additional flower food, you can mix 1 teaspoon of sugar with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon bleach to ¼ cup of warm water. 

Vase environment

Place your vase of fresh flowers in a cool spot of the house or office. Keep your flowers away from fruit bowls. 

Why? Flowers generally like cool environments so placing them away from heat, air conditioning and direct sunlight will go a long way to keeping them fresh. Ripening fruits emit ethylene gas which is harmful to a vase of fresh flowers as it causes them to droop and reduces the vase shelf life. 

Regular checks

Regularly check your vase of flowers. Remove any dead leaves and trim the stem ends 

Why? Appearance of discoloring water is a sign that water needs to be changed to prolong the vase shelf life.