The Antlers American

Tricks to keep floral arrangemen­ts fresh


Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a fresh bouquet of flowers on a special occasion? Flowers traditiona­lly are given for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, anniversar­ies, and other special events. While a beautiful bouquet can make a lovely gift, fresh flowers have finite lasting power.

Recipients of floral arrangemen­ts need not fret. Various strategies can help prolong the life of freshly cut flowers. Florists employ certain tricks to keep cut flowers fresh longer. In fact, thatÕs a personÕs best bet to keep cut flowers fresh Ñ purchasing arrangemen­ts from knowledgea­ble florists who have done their part to ensure flower longevity.

Here are some additional strategies to consider.

Make fresh cuts in stems: Think back to the last time you purchased a fresh Christmas tree. What is the key to ensuring it gets enough water while on display? You guessed it: making a fresh cut in the trunk of the tree. The same concept applies to floral arrangemen­ts. Use a sharp scissor or pruning shears to cut about one inch from the bottom of each stem at a 45-degree angle. Continue this process every three days or so. The 45-degree angle prevents the stem from squishing during the cut and enables it to absorb more water.

Get them in water quickly: Place the flowers in a vase or other vessel with water promptly after making the cuts. Some florists like to cut the stems under water to prevent air bubbles from forming in the stems. Choose an arrangemen­t first, then cut and place the flowers in water quickly. This gives fresh arrangemen­ts a good chance to last awhile.

Monitor water temperatur­e: The temperatur­e of the water in the vase should coordinate with the flowers on display. Do not use hot water or the stems will cook. Room temperatur­e is best for most flowers, except for blooms from bulbs that flower during cooler months, such as tulips and daffodils. TheyÕll be more likely to thrive in cooler water, according to Consumer Reports.

Chill your arrangemen­t: The experts at FTD by Design tested various theories for keeping floral arrangemen­ts fresh, including adding aspirin to the water or using sugar or concoction­s that contain vodka. Sugar and vinegar served as a runner-up for long-lasting blooms, but the best solution for prolonging the flowers was putting the arrangemen­t in the refrigerat­or each night for roughly eight hours.

Prune the foliage: Before placing cut flowers in a vase, remove extra leaves at the base of the stems that will fall underneath the water line. This helps to limit bacteria growth in the water and cuts back on foul odors. Plus, removing foliage focuses flowers’ energy on the main blooms rather than the leaves.

These steps can add life to cut flowers, helping arrangemen­ts thrive in any home.

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