Tips To Make Your Bouquets Last Longer

By Nathan Silva

Flowers are one of the meaningful gifts and liveliest decorations for nearly any occasion, all year 'round. Places such as offices and homes are more comfortable and lively when flowers are used as decorations. What makes these gifts of nature so great is that they smell and look fantastic. They have bright colors, unique shapes, and they have the most wonderful smells only nature can provide.

The downside? Fresh flowers don't stay fresh for long especially if you don't take care of them right. Not all of us are florists and gardeners, here are some tips that could extend the life of your bouquets:

- If you receive flowers that aren't in water, act as quick as possible. Drench them in water, or preferably in floral foam or flower food solution. These can be purchased from your florist.

- If the flower food solution turns cloudy, replace it all. Same goes for those who are using plain water; replacing it daily with fresh water is a must.

- No flower food or flower foam? Make your own! Just add a teaspoon of bleach, a tablespoon of sugar, and a gallon of water. Mix well and you have flower food. If these ingredients are unavailable, try mixing a 12-ounce can of clear, non-diet soda (like 7-Up or Sprite) with half a gallon of water. The acid in the soda will slow down growth of bacteria in the water, while the sugar will "feed" the plant.

- Re-cut stems using a cutting tool that will not crush the stems such as a sharp knife, pruning shears, or even a good pair of scissors. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle, and do this underwater. This allows the stems to draw in water instead of air and the increased surface area from the 45-degree cut allows for improved water/solution absorption.

- Generally, some flowers last longer than others. Once they begin to wilt, remove them from the vase.

- Get rid of leaves that will be under the vase's waterline, because leaves in water tend to promote bacterial growth.

- Remember to place your flower arrangement in a cool, dry spot, away from heat. About 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit is the recommended temperature for flowers, away from heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, on top of televisions or radiators, and away from direct sunlight, to avoid premature dehydration and wilting. - 29857

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