It’s the season of budding trees, bird nests, gentle rains and blooming flowers! Springtime brings with it a feeling of freshness you can’t find at any other time of year. Once you’ve finally thrown your windows open, you’re probably thinking about Spring-y updates for your home decor. The fastest way to bring spring into your home? Flowers, of course! Whether you’re decorating with those pride-inducing blooms from your own garden or the bouquet you got for Mother’s Day, a vase of fresh, colorful petals simply spells Spring. The only problem? Junking them when they’re wilted and brown. It’s a bummer to trash those beautiful icons of Spring, so why not hold onto them a little longer? If you’re wondering how to keep your cut flowers fresher longer, here are 8 easy tips.
1. Clean it up.
Make sure your vase is completely clean. This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s easy to miss spotty buildup on previously used vases and that gunk can facilitate bacteria growth – a sure way to make your flowers droop. So scrub hard with your favorite dish soap and a little bleach, then be sure to rinse completely.
2. Prepare your water.
You may be used to dropping your stems in any old water, but if you take some time to properly prepare your water with preservatives, you’ll significantly increase the longevity of your bouquet. There are plenty of ways you can do this. If your cut flowers were a gift from a shop, they likely came with “food” which you can sprinkle into the water. Use only half when you first prepare your vase, then use the rest a few days later when you dump the old water and refreshen the vase. If your flowers are more garden variety, you can make your own preservative. Make a mixture of 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 quart of water. Dissolve the sugar completely. The idea is to fight away bacteria (vinegar) while nourishing the flower (sugar).
3. Don’t ignore the temperature.
Be sure to use cool water – not warm or cold. Warm water invites bacteria growth more quickly.
4. Pluck a little.
Remove the bottom leaves all along the stem. Any part of the stem that will be submerged in water should be leaf-free.
5. Run your water.
Once your vase, water and flowers are properly prepared, run the water in your tap and hold your flowers with the ends of the stems in the running water. Cut them while still in the water and transfer them to the vase right away.
6. The angle matters.
Cut your stems at an angle to increase the inner area that will be exposed to the water.
7. Avoid direct sunlight.
Keep your flowers in an area that doesn’t receive much direct sun. This will minimize both wilting and bacteria growth.
8. Change the water.
Don’t keep your flowers floating in the same water until they die. Recut your stems, change out the water and add your preferred preservative every other day. It may seem like overkill, but fresh water in freshly cut/exposed stem is the best way to ensure your flowers aren’t bogged down in gunk. Do spot checks every day to remove any fallen leaves or petals from the water.
It takes a bit of maintenance to keep your fresh cut flowers looking pristine, but with a little effort, you’ll be surprised by how long they last! And that colorful, spring feeling they bring to your home decor is worth it.
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com