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Cut Flower Care

Cut Flower Care

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With proper care and arrangement you can get flowers to survive for quite some time in a vase. When cutting one's own flowers, the best time is in the morning when they are still moist from the previous night. Also, carry a bucket of water in which to place the blooms as soon as they're cut. Warm water, not hot or cold, is the best for maximum water absorption.

If you have received flowers from a florist, check the amount of water. Cut the stems at an angle, using a sharp knife or pair of scissors. This encourages maximum water intake. It is best to cut the stems under running water to prevent air bubbles. Trim the stems and change the water everyday, if possible. You can use a turkey baster to remove the old water and add the new without ever disturbing the flower arrangement.

In addition, loosely arranged flowers tend to last longer than ones tightly packed in a vase. Make sure to remove all the leaves from the part of the stem that is under water.

Store flowers in a cool place. Florists keep them in the refrigerator. Put them in the fridge at night if you can. Avoid placing them next to the stove or in direct sunlight on a very hot day. Some people advise adding sugar to the water to prolong the flower's life.

You can add a few drops of food coloring to the water to make it more attractive. This might dye the flowers as well, be forewarned.

If some of the flowers die, replace them with green foliage or rearrange them in a smaller vase. Delicate flowers, such as roses, may die sooner, while others, such as mums, are hardy and last longer.

Florists offer continual bouquets. These are pre-arranged in a florist's frog (it's green and similar to Styrofoam) and a vase or attractive planter. The arrangement consists of genuine-looking silk flowers and long lasting green foliage. You can replace new foliage when the old dies. If don't want to use silk flowers try the Heliopsis - Summer Sun which makes an excellent cut flower for continual bouquets.

While we're on the subject of flower arrangements, here are a few extra tips:

1. If you have trouble arranging flowers in wide mouth flower vases, cut a piece of florist's frog to fit the vase and then arrange flowers. Or, crisscross transparent tape across the top of the vase and insert the stems through the open squares.

2. Make sure your arrangement looks good from all sides by rotating it or by arranging your flowers in front of a mirror.

3. If your stems are too thin to fit into the florist's frog without breaking or if they droop in the vase, put them through green drinking straws and then arrange them.

4. Roses are beautiful, but their thorny stems make them difficult to arrange. Wear thick gloves or use kitchen tongs to avoid scratching your hands.

5. If your favorite ceramic vase cracks, melt a candle inside. The wax should properly seal it from leaking and will not be seen.

6. To clean hard water deposits or rings from vases use vinegar and warm water. Let it soak and then rinse. This should clean it without scratching or ruining the finish.

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