Pretoria News

7 TIPS TO MAKE FLOWERS LOOK FRESHER FOR LONGER

- SACHA VAN NIEKERK sacha.vanniekerk@inl.co.za

MAKE your lovely bouquet of freshcut flowers last longer with these helpful tips.

A bouquet of flowers can immediatel­y liven up your home, offering their vibrant beauty to dull spaces and a sweet aromatic scent better than any air freshener.

However, there’s nothing sadder than having to throw away an expensive bunch of flowers because they’ve begun to look wilted. Fortunatel­y, we have helpful tips that will keep your cut flowers looking lively and beautiful for longer.

Buy fresh

Fresh and quality roses will last longer than ones that have begun to wilt and rot. You can tell if a bunch of flowers at the market are fresh by how sturdy and firm the stems are.

Old flowers will look wilted and may have browning petals. Additional­ly, if the stems appear white and green, this is a sign they were recently cut.

Trim the stems

Adjust your flower length to suit the height of the vase you will be using. This will prevent the stems from drooping and will help show off the blooms better.

Cut the stems at a sharp angle

When cutting your stems, make sure you do so at a sharp angle. If you cut them so that the stem is flat, it will sit at the bottom of the jar and prevent water from being sucked up through the stem. A sharp angle exposes more of the stem to the water, keeping your petals and leaves plump.

Trim the leaves off the bottom

Any part of the stem that’s below the waterline should be stripped bare of thorns and leaves. Trim these and leave whatever is nearest the flower buds. Bacteria from the leaves will interact with the water, causing it to go murky and can lead to decay and rot. This will, in turn, cause a build-up that will clog the ends of the flower stems and stop them from getting enough water.

Keep them out of direct sunlight

Fresh cut flowers are dead, so unlike your other potted plants, they do not need any sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause your flower’s water supply to deplete quicker, causing your flowers and stems to start wilting. The vibrant colours of the leaves and blooms will also begin to fade and look a lot less appealing.

Use plant food

Usually bouquets of flowers come with a sachet of plant food. Don’t throw these away. Pour the contents into your vase with water before adding the flowers. If you don’t have flower food, a tablespoon of bleach and a tablespoon of sugar mixed into the water should do the trick.

Replace water

Every few days when the water in the flower vase begins to get murky, empty and rinse the vase and replace the water. While your flowers are out, give the stems a fresh cut just above the previous one.

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