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How to Take Care of Cut Flowers at Home? 9 Hacks

As Valentine’s Day is approaching, people may find their homes flooded with cut flowers. The article provides hacks to keep flowers fresher for longer at home.

Shipra Singh
Flowers in a vase
Flowers in a vase

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you can expect your home to be filled with fresh cut flowers and bouquets. You may be wondering how to keep the flowers fresh for longer. They add such beauty and vibrance to the house!  

Do you know when flowers become separated from their mother plant they, no longer, have the ability to filter water or perform photosynthesis? 

So they need more care. But it isn’t hard to care for your beautiful flowers at home. Just know a few tricks and you can easily keep them fresh for longer than usual.  

1. Choosing the right vase

It’s common sense that if you have a bunch of full blooms, you must use a wider vase to give your flowers enough space to breathe. If it’s just a single stem of rose or a couple of orchids, you can do with a narrow vase.  

Wash the vase with hot water and let it air dry before you use it to keep flowers. This removes any impurities or microbial growth from inside the vase.  

2. Filling water in the vase

Many people advise to use distilled water, but flower experts suggest using tap water. Use lukewarm water in vase. If the flower stems are tender, fill the vase only half. Wait after filling water till the bubbles vanish. If you immediately put flowers, the bubbles may adhere to the stem bottom and thwart the intake of water by stem.  

 3. Pruning leaves from stem

Don’t let leaves remain near the bottom of the stem. They will rot as the stem will be submerged in water. This can encourage growth of bacteria and fungi. Remove the leaves. If you want, keep a couple of leaves only near the flowers.  

4. Cutting stems correctly

Do not put stems directly in water. First cut them an inch or two from the bottom. Always cut stem in a slant manner for better water absorption instead of straight. Slant cut also makes the stem to tilt a bit in the vase for better flower arrangement.  

Put stems in water at once after cutting.  

A vibrant vase of flowers
A vibrant vase of flowers

5. Mixing flower food in vase water

Although it’s not mandatory to use flower food, if you want your flowers to stay fresh for longer periods, you must use it.  

Ingredients to prepare flower food: 

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (for citric acid)

  • ½ Teaspoon bleach

  • 1 Quarter warm water

Mix all the ingredients in warm water.  

Sugar will nourish the flowers. Citric acid in lemon will maintain pH of water. Bleach will prevent growth of bacteria and fungi.  

Flower food helps to keep a healthy and balanced, disease-free environment for flowers to thrive in water. 

Cut flowers in vases
Cut flowers in vases

6. Changing water of vase

You must change vase water regularly. Change immediately, if the water becomes cloudy or opaque. This may indicate bacterial growth.   

  • If you have used flower food, change the vase water every 3 or 4 days. 

  • If you have not used flower food, change the vase water daily. 

 7. Keeping flowers at the right place

Location of flowers is important, if you want to keep them alive for longer. Keep them at a cool place where there is minimum heat or sunlight. Heat can lead to higher water loss due to increased transpiration in flowers, especially sunflower and daisy. The flowers can wilt faster.  

Do not keep fruits near your flower vase. Fruits emit ethylene gas that can affect your flowers’ shelf life.  

8. Removing flowers that have wilted 

As soon as you notice a flower petal or a flower starting to wilt or becoming dry, remove it. Do you know wilted flowers emit ethylene gas, which can lead to rapid wilting of the neighboring flowers? 

 9. Recutting the stem

Cut the stem an inch again from the bottom whenever you change water. If you change water daily, then cut it every 3-4 days. Regular trimming prevents clogging of water at the base of stem. It reopens the stem and enables easy uptake of water.  

Just do the above and see your flowers stay fresh and lively for longer than usual. Some people also add essential oils to the vase water. A few studies show that oils can extend shelf life of cut flowers. However, you must know what essential oil to use for what flower.  

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