Using flowers is one of the oldest methods in the world to spruce up one’s home, or to present as a gift to show love, care, gratitude, or appreciation. It is deemed as effortless and enjoyable to some, and it could prove to be quite a chore to others. Whatever the purpose or occasion is, the measures taken before the actual arrangement of flowers or crafting or bouquets are actually the most important! We’d like to share with you the things you can do to maximize the life of your beautiful flowers.
Choosing the freshest flowers
Just like shopping for anything else, flowers need to be carefully selected before purchase. Do check out our previous article for an in depth explanation on how to choose fresh flowers! In a nutshell, you just need to ensure that the leaves are green, petals are firm, and the flowers must not be fully bloomed. If they are fully bloomed, it means their life span as a cut flower is already at its peak!
Bringing your babies home
The moment you bring your lovely babies home, wash them and place them in a pail of clean water immediately! They need a source of life support, now that they are already separated from their roots. The pail should only be one-third filled with water. We will explain why later 🙂 Do take note that the pail should be cleaned thoroughly. Germs and bacteria on the surface of the inside of the pail can spur bacteria growth in the water.
Stripping the Stems
The bottom portion of the stem should probably have some leaves. Strip the leaves off the bottom 15 to 20 cm of the stems. Basically, the portion of the stem that will be exposed to water has to be clean. Should you decide to leave the leaves on the stem, they would definitely rot while being submerged in water, resulting in quick bacteria growth in the water. This will significantly shorten the life of your flowers and that is something we do not want!
How Much of the Pail to be Filled with Water?
The reason why we mentioned earlier to only fill the pail with a third of water is because flowers only drink through their stems. Having the sides of the stem exposed to water could also lead to rotting and result in quick bacteria growth!
How to Cut the Stems?
Cut the bottom of the stems diagonally to create the widest surface area possible. This is done so that it is easier for your flowers to ‘drink up’!
Just like most living things, sufficient air circulation is also essential to the long survival of flowers. Having too many flowers in the same pail will be detrimental to their survival. The last thing you would want is for the petals of different petals to rub against each other and be damaged!
When is the Right Time to Start Your Arrangement?
Your flowers should be left in the pail of water for at least 4 to 5 hours before you can start your arrangement. If your flowers are not yet fully bloomed, you could even leave them there overnight of for as long as 3 days. Certain flowers such as lilies would require 3 days to fully bloom.
Extra Steps to Take
If you are creating a floral arrangement in a vase of water and not with the use of a sponge, you might want to purchase flower preservatives from your nearest supermarket. These preservatives are effective in killing bacteria in the water. If you do not wish to use preservatives, the water in your vase has to be changed once to twice daily. Do also remember to wash the surface of the inside of the vase!
Did you know? Rumour has it that a crushed multi-vitamin in the water helps. We’ve not tried it, though. Perhaps we could and we would give you guys an update!
That’s all we have for today! We hope that you’ve managed to learn something from us today that could go a looong way! Thank you for reading 🙂