Many garden plants are also suitable as cut flowers. Unfortunately, these are only short- With a few tricks and a few simple steps, however, the shelf life can be extended so that the cut flowers look fresher for longer.
Flowers can be obtained in every supermarket nowadays and are really not expensive, but let’s be honest: It is much nicer if you can put flowers from your own garden in a vase and with it your terrace, apartment or balcony can you? The only drawback – unlike potted plants, of course, they don’t last very long.
However, you can influence the shelf life by creating the right conditions for cut flowers. If you avoid some mistakes, you can make sure that the cut flowers stay fresh for longer.
Tip 1: Clean vase
Choosing the right vase forms the basis for a long shelf life of your cut flowers. Be sure to use a clean and aseptic vase. Even the smallest residues can cause the water quality in the vase to tip and the cut flowers to enter quickly. This is because bacterial formation starts faster.
It is best to get your vases clean with cleaning rods for dentures. Simply fill the vase with water, put the tablet in, leave it on and rinse with clear water after about one to two hours. 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 continue to cut your flowers. This is especially true for purchased cut flowers, as the interface dries out during transport and thus prevents water absorption. With flowers from the garden, which are usually placed in the water, you don’t necessarily have to cut again. However, it does not harm the plant.
Rule of thumb when cutting:
Plants with a soft stem, such as gerbera, tulips and gladiolus, are cut off at the bottom. For plants with a hard stem, you must put a sharp knife at an angle so that the cutting surface is as large as possible. This allows the plant to absorb sufficient water. Repeat the cut after a few days.
Tip 3: Remove leaves at water level
Before putting the cut flowers in the vase, you should remove the lower leaves. Cut or cut off any leaves that would come into contact with the water. If you do not, the leaves will start to rot and accordingly worsen the water quality.
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 low-calcareous water
Many still believe that cut flowers prefer cold water. But that is not the case. Most tolerate lukewarm water best. Temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees are optimal. At best, the water is low in lime. If you are not sure, you should simply take a test and measure your water hardness. If the water is too chalky, you can easily counteract it with lemon juice or vinegar.
Where we are when it comes to water: keep an eye on the water. If you notice that it is discolouring, you should change the flower water. It is best to exchange water after one to two days at the latest.
By the way: For some varieties, such as roses and sunflowers, experts recommend dipping them briefly into 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 enjoy this with flowers from the garden. But you can buy it just as well. In order to improve nutrient absorption and thus significantly extend the shelf life, you can use effective microorganisms. The so-called pipes are added to the water and can be used again and again.
Tip 6: Use sugar sparingly
There is also a lot of talk about sugar in flower water extending shelf life. It is true that a small pinch slows down the aging process, but the right dosage is important here. If you put just a little too much into the water, you promote the formation of bacteria and ensure that the plants enter even faster.
Tip 7: Do not place flowers near fruit
The location also determines the shelf life of cut flowers. Putting your plants near fruit bowls risks quickly withering your plants in the vase. This is due to the gas ethylene that some fruits and vegetables excrete. This exudes a ripening gas and causes the flowers to age faster. A list of ethylene-excreting varieties should be within reach, so that you can look again and again if you are not sure.
But not only the ethylene is decisive, you should not expose your vase with fresh cut flowers to direct sunlight or draughts. Much better is a bright location without direct sunlight, which is not at the window.
Tip 8: Not all flowers get along with each other
There are some plants that get along well in nature, but are not good journeymen in a vase. These include, for example, daffodils and hyacinths. This but a mucus that clogs the capillaries of other plants in the bouquet. So if you want to put daffodils or hyacinths in a vase, then only individually.