Question Hi Steven and Chris, You are both always encouraging your viewers to keep fresh flowers at home. Unfortunately, the minute I walk through the door with fresh flowers...They die! Do you have any tips on prolonging the lives of these? If they work, I promise to keep fresh flowers at home forever...Keep up the great work! Sara
The moment you remove flowers from water, they begin to wither, so it's essential to keep them moist on the trip home. Try filling a small plastic bag with water and securing the bag around the stems with a rubber band. Or, wrap some damp newspaper or Sponge Towel around the stems until you get home.
When cut flowers are left out of water, cells begin to form over the cut ends of the stems. This prevents water from being absorbed, so it's important to trim stems at least an inch before you put them in water. Always trim stems at an angle to reveal the greatest surface area. Also, flowers that are cut under water are proven to last up to 30 percent longer.
STEM STUFF Different types of stems require different treatment.
HOLLOW STEMS - daffodils, amaryllis, delphinium When working with hollow stem flowers, trim them at a 45 degree angle. Then, turn the flower upside down and fill the stem with water. This helps the stem absorb the water from the inside. Place a wad of cotton in the end of the stem to prevent it from leaking.
WOODY STEMS - lilac, dogwood, azalea
Woody stems have a harder time absorbing water, so it's essential to break them up by smashing them gently with a small hammer or by splitting the stem an inch or two vertically. MILKY STEMS - Iceland poppy, euphorbia, hollyhock, poinsettia
Milky flowers lose nutrients from the milky substance the seeps out of their stems. To seal the stem, burn the end quickly with a candle and place in water immediately.
DANGER! Both daffodils and cala lilies can be toxic to other flowers. If you plan on using them in an arrangement, condition them separately for a few hours before adding them to a vase with other flowers.
MAKE IT LAST Change the water every two days to keep your flowers fresher for longer. Use a turkey baster to remove the old water without having to disturb an arrangement. WHAT WORKS...WHAT DOESN'T We tested four old wives' tales for keeping flowers fresh longer.
The mouthwash was the least effective, while the penny proved to be the most effective!