Many garden plants are also suitable as cut flowers. Unfortunately, these only last for a short time. With a few tricks and a few simple steps, the shelf life can be extended, so that the cut flowers look fresh longer.
Cut flowers are available in every supermarket these days and are really not expensive, but to be honest: it is much nicer if you can put flowers from your own garden in a vase and prettish up your terrace, apartment or balcony, right? The only disadvantage - in contrast to potted plants, of course, they do not last very long.
However, you can affect the shelf life by creating the right conditions for cut flowers. If you avoid a few mistakes, you can ensure that the cut flowers stay fresh longer.
8 tips: How to keep your cut flowers longer
Tip 1: clean vase
Choosing the right vase forms the basis for a long shelf life for your cut flowers. Make absolutely sure that you use a clean and aseptic vase. Even the smallest of residues can cause the water quality in the vase to tip over and the cut flowers to die quickly. This is because bacterial growth sets in faster.
The best way to get your vases clean is with cleaning tabs for dentures (e.g. Kukident). To do this, simply fill the vase with water, put the tablet in, let it take effect and rinse with clear water after about an hour or two. After this treatment, the vase is not only clean, but also free of bacteria.
Tip 2: Cut correctly
It is also very important that you cut your flowers again. This applies particularly to cut flowers that have been bought, as the interface dries out during transport and thus prevents water absorption. With flowers from the garden, which you normally put in the water, you do not necessarily have to cut again. But it doesn't harm the plant.
Rule of thumb for bleed:
Plants with a soft stem, such as gerberas, tulips and gladiolus, are just being cut off at the bottom. For plants with a hard stem, you need to use a sharp knife at an angle so that the cut surface is as large as possible. This way the plant can absorb enough water. Repeat the cut after a few days.
" Note: Do not use scissors as this could crush the stems.
Tip 3: Remove leaves at water level
Before you put the cut flowers in the vase, you should remove the lower leaves. Cut or snap off any leaves that would come in contact with the water. If you don't, the leaves will start to rot and the water quality will deteriorate accordingly.
In addition, shortening has the advantage that the plant does not put its energy into the leaves, but allows the flower to benefit.
Tip 4: Use lukewarm and lime-free water
Many still believe that cut flowers prefer cold water. But this is not the case. Most tolerate lukewarm water best. Temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees are optimal. In the best case the water is low in lime. If you are not sure, you should simply do a test and measure your water hardness. If the water is too calcareous, you can easily counteract it with lemon juice or vinegar.
Speaking of water, keep an eye on the water. If you notice that this changes color, you should change the flower water. It is best if you change the water after one or two days at the latest.
»By the way: For some varieties, such as roses and sunflowers, experts recommend briefly immersing them in boiling water with the stem. The air bubbles should escape and the plant can then absorb the water better.
Tip 5: add nutrients
Almost everyone who buys a bouquet of flowers gets a small bag of “fresh flowers”. Of course, you will not get this benefit from flowers from the garden. You can buy this as well. You can use effective microorganisms to improve nutrient absorption and thus significantly extend shelf life. The so-called pipes are added to the water and can be used again and again.
Tip 6: Use sugar sparingly
Often there is also talk that sugar in flower water should extend the shelf life. It is really the case that a small pinch slows down the aging process, but the right dosage is important here. If you put a little too much into the water, it promotes the formation of bacteria and ensures that the plants shrink even faster.
Tip 7: Do not place flowers near fruit
The location also determines the durability of cut flowers. If you place your plants near fruit bowls, you risk that your plants wilt quickly in the vase. This is due to the gas ethylene that some types of fruit and vegetables are eliminated. This emits a ripening gas and lets the flowers age faster. A list of ethylene-excreting varieties should be within reach, so that you can always check if you are not sure.
But not only the ethylene is crucial, you should not expose your vase with fresh cut flowers to direct sunlight or drafts. A bright location without direct sunlight that is not at the window is much better.
Tip 8: Not all flowers are compatible
There are some plants that get along well in nature, but are not good companions in a vase. These include, for example, daffodils and hyacinths. This secretes a mucus that clogs the capillaries of other plants in the bouquet. So if you want to put daffodils or hyacinths in a vase, only one at a time.
Do you want to tie a pretty bouquet from your flowers? In the article “Binding a bouquet - step by step to a masterpiece” we show you how.