Flowers mean many things to many people. They are beautiful to give as a gift, or fill a room with color and fragrance. But whether you grow your own or someone has sent you a bouquet, they have enemies, two of the worst being drought and bacteria. To prevent these enemies from killing your flowers, follow some simple tips.
If you're planning on putting your flowers in a vase, it must be very clean. Wash it with hot, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly with cool water. To prepare your vase for the flowers, fill it with 1 cup of warm water along with 1 cup of 7-Up soda. The soda has sugar, which is ideal for nourishing any cut flowers. For bulb flowers--like tulips, irises, hyacinths and daffodils--use cold water.
To keep bacteria away from your cut flowers, add ½ oz of mouthwash and ½ teaspoon of bleach to the above mix.
Cut your flowers in the morning. Some reasons for this are that your flower is full of necessary food and it is also most fragrant at this time of day. If you must cut any other time, do so in a cool part of the day such as late in the evening. Always use a sharp, clean knife to cut the flower stems at a 45-degree angle. The budding stage is the best time to cut roses and bulb blooms. Other flowers can be cut when they are fully or even partially open.
Remove all the leaves from the stem of the flowers where it will be submerged in water. Leaves will aid in the growth of bacteria if they are put into the water. Make sure to fray the end of their stems. You can do this by splitting the bottom of the stem and then pounding it with a small mallet that you use in the kitchen.
When cutting your own flowers outside, keep a pail of water with you. If you're cutting roses or bulb flowers, use cold water; for all others use lukewarm water and put the flowers in the water as soon as you've cut them.
Put flowers in the vase that you got ready earlier as soon as you can. Do not crowd the flowers into the vase, and don't place them in direct sunlight. A cool spot will work best. Don't place your flowers near ripening fruit because a gas called ethylene comes from the fruit and this will keep your flowers from living as long as they normally could.
To keep your cut flowers beautiful and fragrant, change the water mix in the vase every day. You can also re-cut the stems to prolong their life every other day.