Mothers Day Flowers

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Extending The Life of Cut Flowers and Roses

CUT FLOWERS –
Whether you cut fresh flowers from you garden or receive a bouquet of flowers the objective is:
To get water and nutrients to the flower heads as soon as possible…..Their demand for water is continuous…..

First thing is to re-cut the stems.
Use a clean, sharp knife – don’t use household scissors (they are gauged for cutting paper or thin fabric and can crush the stem – which prevents the flower from soaking up the water they need. Cut at an angle….this exposes more stem surface.

It’s best to cut the stems under running water or fill the sink or a pan and cut flowers while submerged.
This prevents air bubbles – which prevents the flowers from soaking up the water. Stems are likes straws – if out of water they will suck up air – which prevents them from taking in the water.
Most flowers prefer lukewarm water between 100 and 110 degrees. Warm water molecules move faster than cold – so….. warm water can be absorbed by the flowers with greater ease.
Bulb Flowers like daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, prefer cold water.
Remove any foliage that will be under the water line – this helps to prevent bacteria and algae growth.
Add the floral preservative to the water to help prolong the life of the flowers. The basic components of the packet are….
A Biocide, Acidifier and Sugar
There are natural alternatives you can make yourself to help prolong the life of your cut flowers:
Put a copper penny and an aspirin in the water.
Copper penny acts as a fungicide
Aspirin makes water more acidic
To 1 quart of water add……
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS Sugar
½ Tsp Bleach
Per 1 gallon of water add…..
Add 2 oz Listerine mouthwash
Listerine contains sucrose (sugar) and a bactericide. Listerine is also acidic.
Bacteria starts immediately……..within 3 hours there will be more than 30 million bacteria in your vase. The bacteria plug the stem ends.

Keep cut flowers away from fruit…….
Fruit emits an ethylene gas – which will shorten the life of the flowers.
Also…..Dying or damaged flowers also emit ethylene gas and should be removed.
Cut Flowers do best in a cooler temperature – ideal is 65 to 75 degrees. Flowers at cooler temps lose less water.
Keep arrangement:
Out of direct sunlight
Away from heating and cooling vents
From being directly under ceiling fans
Off of Televisions – (the heat from the TV causes flowers to dehydrate)
Flowers that go limp are not getting enough water and need to be re-cut.
Remove flowers as they wilt and change water every other day.
Re-cut the stems when water is changed.
Add more preservatives to the water each time.

Most cut flowers will last a week. Some like carnations can last up to 3 weeks with proper care.

If you are cutting from you garden:
Best time to cut is early morning – Morning is when the plant stems are filled with water and carbohydrates.

TIPS FOR ROSES:
Keep from drooping by poking a pinhole in the stem right below the blossom
Do not remove the thorns this tends to shorten their life
Remove any discolored petals or petals on the outer edge – called guard petals
Re-cut stems often
Keep in a cool spot
If your roses begin to wilt…….it is usually because of air bubbles and bacteria.
Trim off about 1 inch from the bottom then
Submerge the entire rose under water in a sink or tub – allow tem to absorb water for about 30 to 60 minutes. Then return to vase with fresh water and preservatives.

When your flower bouquet begins to fade don’t throw them away. Recycle them.
At the very least cut them up and add to the compost pile
Dry flower and petals and use in crating or potpourri
Bake Edible Flowers (like roses or calendula) in cakes, breads or cookies
Add flowers to herbal vinegars
Preserve Edible Flowers (like Violas & Pansies in sugar….use to decorate cakes
Use Edible Flowers as garnishes in salads, casseroles and soups