Although my husband and I don’t typically spend a lot of money on Valentine’s Day, he does usually surprise me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the holiday! As much as I enjoy admiring them, I always end up disappointed at just how quickly they begin to wilt. With flowers costing as much as three times their normal price during the Valentine’s Day holiday, I want to do everything I can to make them last. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks that you can use to help extend the life of those beautiful blossoms!
1. Serve them soda
Most flower bouquets typically come with a small packet of plant food, and although you should always use it, that one packet may not be enough. In addition to the plant food, offer your blooms a serving of soda! Before you add the flowers to the vase, add about 1/4 cup of soda such as Sprite, 7-Up or Ginger Ale to the water. The sugar in the soda helps to feed the flowers while making the water more acidic, which allows water to flow through the stems quicker.
2. Remove any leaves that fall below the water line
I’ve always known that flowers wilt and die before their time because of bacteria growth, but I never knew that bacteria growth can be caused by not removing some of the leaves! It turns out that the foliage that remains in the water is actually a major culprit of bacteria growth and can drastically shorten the life of your flowers. To ensure you’re getting as much as you can out of your blooms, remove all leaves that fall below the water line.
3. Trim the stems every other day
Even though you probably trim the stems of your flowers before you arrange them in your vase, you may not think to trim them again. However, cutting a bit more from the stems every other day can help those buds receive a steady flow of water, which can ultimately extend their life. If you start reaching for the scissors, think again! Scissors can often squeeze the stems too tight, damaging them to the point that they can’t adequately take in water and nutrients. Instead, opt for a sharp knife that will allow you to get a nice, clean cut. While you’re cutting the stems every other day, it’s also a good idea to change the water to help eliminate any bacteria growth.
4. Display them in the perfect spot
Elements like hot and cold air can have a very unfortunate effect on flowers, causing them to wilt and deteriorate quickly. Selecting a good spot to show off your bouquet is key when trying to extend their lifespan. Try to place them away from areas that are in direct sunlight as well as near devices such as TVs, stoves and vents. As a general rule, try to keep flowers in an area that stays between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. When selecting a spot for your bouquet, it’s also important to choose a spot away from fruits and veggies, as strange as it may sound! These release ethylene gas, which can age your flowers prematurely.
5. Give them a daily spritz
Since flowers sit with their stems submerged in water, I always assume that they have all the water that they need. However, that is actually not the case! Due to the fact that some of the browning and wilting can be caused by the gasses of other flowers in the arrangement, a daily misting of water can help combat the absorption of other gasses. A few mists each day can help your flowers retain their color and texture, making them stay beautiful longer. If you’re often forgetful when it comes to chores like this, assign this task to your child, who will surely enjoy it!
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