Flowers need a little preparation before presentation, and will last longer if they are looked after properly. To ensure you get the best out of your bouquet, follow these simple instructions.
- Recut 2cm off all stems that have come out of water.
- Remove any stem foliage that will sit below the water in your vase; this helps avoid bacterial growth.
- Place flowers immediately in fresh water (using a flower preservative or a splash of bleach).
- Change water every 2-3 days, re-cutting stems each time and removing any dead or dying petals or foliage.
Don’t place flowers in direct sunlight; the cooler the area, the longer your flowers will last.
Be careful not to leave your flowers in a hot car as this will definitely shorten their life span.
Understanding Cut Flower Care
Conditioning is the treatment given to flowers in order to encourage the uptake of water which will in turn extend the vase life. Recut 2cm off all stems, then immediately place them in fresh clean water with a commercial flower preservative (or splash of bleach). Always remove any foliage from the stems that will sit below the water line, as this will quickly foul the water and promote bacterial growth.
Clean vases before use with a good bleach or disinfectant solution. Dirty vases can lead to a build-up of bacteria in the water, and certain bacteria can interfere with the vessels in the flower’s stem causing blockages and preventing water uptake. Unpleasant smells can also develop with the growth of bacteria; however, a good commercial flower preservative will help inhibit such growth, and in turn help feed the flower by replacing the nourishment that would be given by the plant.
Ethylene is a natural odourless plant hormone that is released from all parts of the plant and can cause premature ageing and discolouration to cut flowers. Certain flowers are more susceptible to ethylene gas than others; these include: Carnations, Roses, Alstromeria and Freesia. Ethylene can also be given off into the air by cigarette smoke, rotting rubbish, and ripening fruit, so consider this when placing your flowers.