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How to Preserve your Fresh Cut Flowers

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There’s nothing that brightens my day more than receiving beautiful fresh cut flowers. I hate when they start to die off, so I thought I’d share some ways to show you how to preserve your fresh cut flowers with some helpful tips for making your bouquet last longer.


How to Preserve your Fresh Cut Flowers

1. Flowers always keep best when cut under running water with a sharp (un-serrated knife). Make the cut in the stem at a slant.


2. Before placing your flowers in a vase, be sure to remove any leaves that would be underwater, but avoid removing any thorns (from Roses) as this shortens the life of your rose.

3. Prematurely wilted roses are a result of air bubbles and/or bacteria. To prevent air-bubbles simply cut a new stem (under running water and at a slant).


4. Warm or cold water? Lukewarm is best for most cut flowers, but use cold water for any flowers resulting from bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, etc.

5. Think your cut flowers look nice on your table with your fruit bowl? Think again! Fruit releases a natural gas that will cause your flowers to “age” and thus die sooner.

6. Keep the cut flowers away from direct sunlight as this shortens their “lifespan”.

Floral Preservatives & How to Make Your Own

Have you ever wondered what’s in those little packets of “floral food” that the florist gives you?

Commercial Floral preservatives generally contain 3 basic components:

  • Biocide- chemicals to kill bacteria which often plug the stems ability to draw water
  • Acidifier– which helps the water move up the stem more quickly
  • Sugar– which acts as Food

Homemade Floral Preservative/Food

If you prefer natural alternatives, try one of these mixtures to extend the life of your cut flowers:

  • 1 c. Lemon-Lime Soda to 3 c. Water + 1/4 tsp Bleach – to continue with this add 1/4 tsp bleach every 4 days
  • 2 T. Listerine per gallon of water
  • 2 T. Lemon Juice to 1 qt water, 1 T. Sugar & 1/2 tsp bleach
  • An Aspirin and an OLD Penny (Copper is a fungicide it helps block the growth of yeasts and fungi.)


Create your own Beautiful Flower & Vine Swags

If you’d like to preserve your flowers permanently- submerse them in a glycerin solution.

You’ll Need:
2 c. water
1 c. glycerin

  1. Combine the water and glycerin a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat 10 min & Cool.
  2. Carefully cut each well-chosen branch at an angle (like you’d cut flowers) for easier absorption.
  3. Place the cut flowers into the solution and allow to sit for 7-10 days in a cool dark area, until all or most of the mixture has been absorbed.
  4. (There will be beads of glycerin on the leaves). Carefully wipe each leaf with a damp washcloth or paper towel & then pat dry.
  5. Arrange your Flowers into swags or Heavy Vases. These arrangements will last for years.


Flower Drying Formula

  • 10 parts white cornmeal
  • 3 parts borax

Mix together. Bury flowers in the mixture. Let set for 2 weeks, and the dried flowers will last for years. For clarification, a part can be any amount, 1 Tbs, 1 Cup, 1/4 Cup. So if you use tablespoons it would be 3 TBS Borax and 10 TBS Cornmeal. A Part is just a ratio measurement.


Other Options– Dip the flowers in Wax! complete tutorial here


© Can Stock Photo Inc. / fpdress

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