Flowers add color and grace to any room of your home, not just the living room. A few tricks can make their beauty last longer.
To prolong the life of cut flowers, follow these tips.
- If cutting flowers from the garden, cut on a cloudy day or early in the morning to minimize moisture loss. Make clean cuts with pruning shears or a sharp knife.
- Plunge the stems into a bucket of tepid water as soon as you have cut them.
- Encourage flowers to absorb water by cutting the stems every few days.
- When recutting green stems, cut a two-inch slit up the stem from the base, then cut the bottom of the stem at a forty-five-degree angle.
- Cut stems under water to prevent air bubbles from entering the stems.
- Let flowers stand in deep water for several hours before arranging them.
- On woody plants, scrape away the bark on the lower two inches of the stem, then slit it and recut.
- Remove lower leaves on stems, as when they are submerged, they rot, producing gas that can hasten wilting.
- Trim buds that will not blossom to allow more water to go to flowers.
- If you are arranging tulips, add a few drops of vodka to the water to keep the stems standing straight.
Preserve flowers by adding two teaspoons medicinal mouthwash to every four quarts water, although you could also try aspirin or a little sugar. Alternatively, the acid in a clear soft drink also works—add one can soft drink to every four quarts water.
Fungus on house plants is unhealthy for you as well as the plant. First, trim badly affected leaves and discard them. Make up a spray using one tablespoon baking soda to every four quarts water. Repeat every few days until there is no sign of the fungus.
TO REVIVE CUT FLOWERS
Plunge the stems into boiling water. By the time the water is cool, the flowers will have revived. Cut off the ends of the stems and place the flowers in fresh cold water.