Longer lasting cut flowers in the home

FRESH FLOWERS: Add a frew drops of vodka to water.

A VASE of fresh flowers gives a refreshing lift to any home but they don’t tend to last as long as we would like without a little extra help.

There are however a few tricks which can make your blooms stay perkier for longer with very little effort.

First of all, pay attention to the stems. By preparing them properly, the flowers will absorb water faster and stay fresh longer. Using a sharp pair of scissors to avoid crushing the ends, cut off about a centimetre from the end at a 45-degree angle, preferably under cold water to avoid any air getting into the veins in the stems.

Next, leave the stems in deep water for a few hours before moving them to a vase to allow them to absorb as much water as possible. Once you’re ready to pop them in the vase, remove all leaves that would otherwise be under the water to help keep it clean. To help roses and hydrangeas last a bit longer, pour boiling water over the cut ends before putting them into the vase, and for tulips pierce the stems a few times with a needle to prevent airlock.

Two things which make cut flowers wilt quickly are bacteria and a lack of nourishment. To combat bacteria, add a few drops of vodka to the water or pop a copper coin inside the vase. Some sugar or lemonade will help feed the flowers, or a crushed aspirin in the water will also keep them perky and fresh for longer.


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