Flower Care Tips Article

General Flower Care Tips

Caring for your Fresh Cut Flowers

After all the excitement of receiving a fresh bouquet of cut flowers, it would be such a waste if these flowers are unable to last long enough for us to admire and enjoy them!

Caring for your cut flowers does not require a lot of time and effort. All you need to do is to follow a few simple tips and a daily routine (5 to 10 minutes each day) to ensure that your cut flowers are kept at tip-top condition.

In this post, we will be providing you with a few general flower care tips to ensure that your flowers are kept fresh and long-lasting.

Preparation of Cut flowers

After unwrapping the bouquet, you may have to make some minor adjustments to your cut flowers before placing them in a suitable container such as a vase.

Cut the ends of your flower stems at an angle with a sharp scissors

Cutting your flower stems at a 45-degree angle allows the flowers to absorb water more easily since they are not sitting flat on the bottom of your container. Keeping your flowers well hydrated is key to keeping them fresh and long-lasting.
 

Remove any leaves that will be submerged under water

This usually shouldn’t be an issue as most flowers would have been trimmed and conditioned with the leaves removed from the stems.
 
Nonetheless, there may be leaves that are unattended to sometimes. Removing the leaves is important as they tend to rot when submerged in water.
 
This may cause a buildup in bacteria which can contaminate the water and cause damage to your flowers.

Placement of cut flowers

It is also important to note where the cut flowers are placed in the house/office. Choosing a suitable spot can help your extend the lifespan of your flowers!

Keep your flowers out of direct sunlight

We used to think we have to put our flowers by the window so that they will bloom big and bright. Contrary to that belief, it is actually ideal to keep it away from direct sunlight, and if possible, at room temperature.
 
Avoid warm and humid environments such as the kitchen or toilet. This will help prolong the lifespan of your cut flowers.
 

Place your flowers away from fruits and vegetables

Placing flowers near fruits and vegetables can shorten their lifespan. Yes, we know it may be aesthetically pleasing to place your flowers near a fruit basket.
 
However, just like flowers, fruits and vegetables release ethylene, which is an odourless and colourless gaseous plant hormone responsible for the ripening process. This can accelerate the aging process and eventually cause the flowers to wilt faster. 

Daily Flower Care Routine

A daily routine of about 5 to 10 minutes can go a long way in preserving the lifespan of your cut flowers too!

Hydrate your thirsty flowers

Make sure the stems are at least 7 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) submerged in water. You want your flowers to be adequately hydrated!
 

Check your flowers

Do a visual check on your flowers to see if there are any parts that are wilting or dying. Remove the older flowers and keep them away from the fresher ones.

Trim the flower stems every 2 to 3 days

Re-cutting the flower stems (3 to 5 mm off each time) allow the stems to be able to constantly absorb enough water to keep themselves hydrated.

Trimming the stems helps to remove any air bubbles in the stem tissue that could block water uptake. Trimming also helps to unclutter the stem tissues of bacteria.

Change the water and add fresh flower food

Bacteria starts to grow and accumulate in the water and it is not ideal for flowers to be drinking water full of bacteria. Make an effort to change the water (and add flower food to the new water if available). Doing this every other day can make your flowers last longer.

Read on to find out how to make your own flower food using simple common ingredients at home!

Other Methods to Keep Your Flowers Fresh

Put your flowers in the fridge every night

Keeping flowers in the fridge every night can prolong the life of the flowers. Cooler temperatures delays bacteria growth and slows the breakdown of plant tissues. If your fridge is big enough to hold these flowers, you may consider trying this out!

Home-made flower food

Do you know that you can DIY your own flower food at home? All you need to do is to mix water with 2 other common kitchen ingredients: sugar and vinegar.

Sugar provides a source of nutrients while vinegar helps kill bacteria and makes the water more acidic (flowers absorb acidic water better). That is also why you would see lemon juice (2 teaspoons), apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons) or aspirin (1 tablet, crushed) as alternatives to vinegar.

Another popular flower food recipe involves bleach (1 teaspoon) because it helps inhibit bacterial growth in the water as well. 

Home-made flower food ingredients:
1. Water (1 litre)
2. Sugar (3 tablespoons)
3. Vinegar (2 tablespoons)
 
One litre of water may seem a lot so if your containers are not as big, you can consider using half the amount of everything in the recipe.

Does paracetamol (Panadol) help keep your flowers fresh?

We have heard many theories as to why you should add Panadol into your flower vase. From two pharmacists to you (yes we are both pharmacists by profession!), paracetamol is an analgesic. That simply means that it is a painkiller. It does not kill germs like antiseptics or antimicrobials do.

So why does this myth exist? Well, we believe this may be due to the fact that aspirin, another popular ingredient that prolongs flower lifespan, is also an analgesic. However, aspirin, also known as salicylic acid, works because it has the additional property of acidifying the water. Paracetamol, on the other hand, does not have this property. 

Also, we found a video by Joy Us Garden that help summarise these cut flower care tips mentioned here. Do note that the ingredients may differ slightly from florists to florists but the principles behind them are the same!

So there you have it! We hope these simple yet effective flower care tips have given you a better idea of how to care for your cut flowers! As you can see, taking care of these delicate flowers is easy and not time-consuming. The next time you receive a bouquet, give these flower care tips a try and let us know what works for you!

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