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Astar's Craft: How to care for fresh flowers

With Astar

How to care for fresh flowers

Basically what you have to remember is that flowers are like babies.
- if you wouldn't place you baby in the fridge then don't place flowers in the fridge...
- if you wouldn't place you baby in the sun for the day, then don't place flowers in the sun...
- if you wouldn't leave your baby in a draft then don't leave your flowers in a drafty place...
- if you wouldn't give your baby dirty water, then don't put flowers into dirty water...
- if you wouldn't bash your baby then don't bash the stems unless they are hard and fibrous...
- and finally and just for safety, if you wouldn't put your baby into water then on top of the television, then don't do it with flowers either!!!

It is important to remember that when flowers are cut they are already on their way out& so to speak.

There are, however, things that you can do to them at home to help extend their bloom:
1. Clean, clean, clean is paramount.  By this I mean fresh water, clean containers and a drop or two of bleach in the water will help keep bacteria at bay...
2. Slant cut all stems, the greater the slant the better as this gives a wider area for the bloom to draw up water. If  the stem is flat cut and rests on the bottom of the container this can act as a plug/seal. Slant cuts also makes it easier to insert stems if using floral foam.
3. If a stem is woody, then a bash or so with a hammer at the end will break up the fibers and help assist with drawing up moisture.
4. Remove all foliage that will be below water line as on some flowers (e.g stock and larkspur) this rots and causes bacteria.
5. Mist blooms with fresh water as all flowers take up moisture not only via their stems but also petals, especially violets, bornia.
6. Years ago it was the fashion to dip the last 1 inch of roses and chrysanthemum stems into boiling water to revive them if wilted -  I still do this and can get another 4 or 5 days out of both.

Protect heads of flowers from excessive steam.
Flowers like daffodils excrete a gummy substance that poisons other flowers, so these are best left to stand alone in a vase of water.
Also, most flowering plants that come off a bulb (like hyacinths, daffodils, early cheer etc) last much longer when left on the bulb.

The shorter the stem of a bloom the longer it will last.
As each season comes and goes, I'll expand on this list.

... and remember: "when words are not enough, give flowers..."

(Broadcast: 6 Mar 2012)