I bought tulips on Monday. Gorgeous, colourful tulips from Portobello market. I brought them home and did what I always do – snipped an inch off the bottom, pulled off some of the errant and straggly leaves and popped them into a vase.
I thought I was doing rather well, but after doing some extensive research, (*coughs* thank you Google) I realised that there are a whole host of magical flowery tricks (and many myths too) which will ensure your blooms will last for as long as possible.
Here are my newly discovered top tips:
1. Cut around 3cm off the bottom of the stem at a 45° angle. Why? Because there will be a larger surface area for the stem to suck up the water AND the stems won’t sit flat on the bottom of the vase, limiting their water intake.
2. Cut the stems with a sharp knife rather than scissors (oops) as the scissors can pinch the stems and cause them to not absorb as much water as they otherwise would.
3. Make sure you remove all leaves that are below the waterline as they can contaminate the water.
4. Clean water helps flowers last longer, so change water daily if you can (be bothered..shhh)
5. Use luke warm water rather than cold water. Why? Because luke warm water contains less oxygen than cold water (!) and so reduces the amount of air bubbles likely to form in the stems, blocking or limiting water uptake. (I know! This is fascinating!)
6. Add a spoonful of sugar or some lemonade to the water – the sugar helps keep the flowers alive and perky.
7. Make sure your vase is really really clean as a grubby vase means nasty bacteria which can quickly contaminate the water.
8. The cooler the room the better – warm temperatures encourage the flowers to respire at a higher rate and fade faster.
And some myths?
According to Online Florists UK, bleach is more likely to kill flowers than help them, coins do nothing if you drop them in a vase…and aspirin is great for headaches, but does diddly squat for cut flowers.
I hope this has been helpful – my sources were Online Florists UK and Cole Hardware, so if you think or know differently, please share your secrets!