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Nothing brightens up a room or table centerpiece quite like a fresh bouquet of flowers, but sometimes knowing how to keep flowers fresh eludes us. However, keeping cut flowers fresh doesn’t have to be difficult. By following some simple guidelines, you can easily extend the life of those beautiful bouquets.
Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh While Harvesting
When it comes to harvesting cut flowers, some tricks of the trade can be practiced to help ensure the viability of plants. Harvest cut flowers in the early morning or evening hours and about one hour after watering, as this enables the stems to fill with water.
When harvesting single-blooming flowers, like tulips, choose those with buds that are nearly closed. For multiple-blooming plants such as lilacs, opt for flowers with about three-fourths of the buds open. Harvesting flowers that have fully developed reduces vase life. It may also be beneficial to select cultivars known to have a longer shelf life. Other tips on how to keep flowers fresh while harvesting include cutting stems on a slant, which helps stems to absorb water more easily. Also, remove any leaves that will be submerged in water. Always plunge cut flowers into water immediately after cutting. The lower half inch of plants with milky sap should be slightly charred over a flame or dipped into boiling water to seal the ends. Woody stems should be crushed with a mallet and plunged into water (room temperature). Re-cut and crush every other day to prolong vase life.