The KPRC Radio Gardenline Tip By Randy Lemmon For 01-29-04 Printer-Friendly Version
Cut Flower Tips
For all you ladies who get flowers this Valentine's Day, this week's email tip is all about keeping those flowers fresh for as long as possible. Maybe this will also give some of you guys a good reason to get some flowers for your loved one this year, as opposed to avoiding them with the excuse that they'll be dead in two days.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EARLY!
Ways to Keep Fresh Cut Flowers Fresher, Longer...
By the way, most of the forthcoming tips are ones that I've tried or heard about over the years of doing GardenLine. If you have a great idea that can be added to this lineage, please feel free to email your idea, and we'll give it a bit of research and see if we can add it to our list for next year. If you'll try just a few of these tips this Valentine's Day, it will teach you that buying great deals on flowers and treating them once you get them home is the best way to save lots of money and have yet even more flowers around the house.
ROSES & CUT FLOWER TIPS
For Roses, when you get them home immediately cut an inch or so off each stem at the bottom, while running under cool/cold water during the pruning process. And cut at a 45 degree angle. This will increase the life of the blooms. The benefit is that it prevents air from forming tiny pockets in the lower stem.
If a stem is excessively large/thick, you can try splicing up an inch along with the new cut to help it absorb more water.
Add a half a can of Sprite/7-Up to the cool water, which will also increase the bloom longevity, and open them up at the same time.
If you have Rose Blooms that have come in a watered/vase already, look at the bottom of the stems and if they have dark tips, cut off the bottom half inch under cool water just like mentioned above the in the first tip.
If the buds of any flowers don't seem to want to open, then replace the cool water with warm water.
If you're used to cut flowers wilting after 7-10 days on display, and you've tried several tips and still want them to last longer, spray the cut flowers with hair spray the day before they wilt to enjoy several extra days of pleasure from them. Spray from beneath the vase in an upward direction.
They say tulips last longer if you put a few pennies in the bottom of the vase.
Another theory has fresh-cut tulips and roses from drooping by putting a pinhole through the stems jut below the blooms. This is suppose to keep them perky for 2-3 days longer than normal.
If you want to enhance a bowl of flowers, place a decorative mirror under it. This will make your centerpiece twice as clever/
The next time the head/bud of one of your roses breaks away from the stem, don't just throw it away. First cut the stem completely away from the rose bud. Then take a shallow glass bowl, fill it with water and add a little sugar/sprite/7-Up. Let the rose float on the surface and it makes a wonderful centerpiece. You might even want to ask a local florist to save their broken stemmed flowers for you.
If you get a bouquet of cut flowers and they aren't the right size for whatever vases you have, place a few layers of colorful stone or even pea gravel in the bottom of the vase.
Lilies and other flowers with large stamens will last longer if the stamen is removed. You can remove the stamen by pinching the ends with your fingers or by cutting them off with sharp scissors. This technique also prevents any falling stamens from staining your furniture or table cloths.
KEEPING THE WATER FRESH
Always remove any leaves that might happen to fall at or below the water line. The greenery is what contaminates the water with bacteria quicker than anything.
Adding the sugar along with a few drops of lemon juice can also help keep vase water from developing unpleasant odors.
If you'll change the water daily - or at least every other day - they too will last longer.
Keep them cool and avoid drafts, hot spots and television sets. Think about this: When you pick up flowers from a floral shop they have almost always come out of a refrigerated cooler of sorts.
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.