When you've worked hard to grow a garden full of exquisite flowers, you want them to last as long as possible after you cut them for indoor use. You can have a full bouquet last days longer if you follow some simple steps. It is especially helpful to know the secrets of preserving flowers if you are taking them to a friend or cutting them for a special event.
Fill a bucket with water before you head out to your garden to cut flowers. Take along your garden clipper or sharp knife.
Cut the stems of the flowers about an inch longer than needed, with a knife or garden clipper. Put the bottom of each stem into the bucket of water immediately after cutting.
Take the bucket of flowers into the house. You may work directly out of the bucket or fill your sink with water and transfer the stems, if it is more convenient.
Choose the vase you will use. Pour in a packet of floral preservative. If you had purchased your flowers, the packet would have come with the bouquet. However, you can purchase it separately from craft stores or floral shops. Fill the vase ¾ full with water.
Remove any leaves, from the stems, that will fall below the water line in the vase.
Cut each stem, at an angle, under water to the size required for your bouquet. Leave the cut stem(s) outside of the water for the shortest possible amount of time. If you cut the stem outside of the water, an air bubble will attach itself to the end, making it difficult for water to reach the flower. By cutting under the water, you eliminate this problem.
Place the vase of cut flowers away from a warm, sunny window. Heat will shorten the life of the flowers, as will drafts. Move the vase of cut flowers to a cooler room during the night to preserve them.