Because the price of cut flowers continues to grow, it makes sense to find ways to enjoy them longer. There are certain ways to do this with just a little effort.
Cut them properly. For garden flowers, take a bucket of lukewarm water out with you when you cut them. Cut each stem at an angle and instantly place them in the water. In this way, there is no interruption with the flower taking in liquids. The best time to cut garden flowers is in the morning or evening, when the temperature is coolest. Flowers from a florist or home improvement center should be placed under lukewarm water before cutting. Fill your sink or a bucket with water and cut the fresh flowers, at an angle an inch or so from the bottom, below the water.
Food and Water
Have your vase or container prepared before moving the flowers from the bucket or sink. The longer you can keep flower stems in water, the longer they stay fresh. Remove all of the flower leaves from the stems where they will sit below the water line. The leaves, soaking in water, can cause bacteria and hasten the life of the flowers. Cut flowers usually come with a floral preservative packet. You may have wondered exactly how it makes your flowers last longer. This little packet is a biocide. Biocides kill yeast, bacteria and fungi, which feed on the floral sap. These sap eaters plug up the tiny tubes that draw water to the flower. Change the water in the vase every two days, adding preservative in the new water. If you don't have additional floral preservative, make your own. Mix 1 quart water with 1 tbsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. bleach and 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Direct sunlight is too warm for cut flowers. Make sure their location is away from areas where they will be hit by the sun's rays, yet where they can still receive light. Move the vase of flowers to a cooler spot in the house during nighttime hours. Make sure they aren't close to a bowl of fruit, which releases a type of gas that is harmful to flowers. Daffodils are one of the first blooming flowers of spring. Make sure they have their own vase. When they're mixed with other flowers, a compound released from the stems proves toxic to them. Dying flowers also emit a gas that's harmful to other flowers. Remove dead or dying flowers as soon as you notice them.