Don't you just love fresh flowers at home? Cosmos on the dining room or coffee table, bachelor's button by the bathroom sink, or sunflowers on the bedroom bureau-but they can wilt after only a day or two. Follow these steps and watch your cut flowers stay stunning for over a week!
Harvest the flowers when the buds are just starting to open. If possible, harvesting in the early morning is best.
Use sharp scissors to cut the stem at an angle at the desired length and above a leaf stem. The angle increases the area for water uptake. Immediately put the stem in tepid water to prevent the cut end from sealing or taking in air, preventing the flower from taking up water.
Once indoors, strip off any foliage on the stems that would be underwater in your display vase to prevent leaves from rotting in the water. Transfer to a vase with lukewarm water halfway up the stems.
Change water completely every two days. Professional florist preservative can also be used to extend your bouquet's life, although frequent water changes are the most important factor in maintaining a long-lasting arrangement.
Keep the vase out of direct sunlight and away from fruit. Both sunlight and the ethylene gas from fruit will accelerate wilting.
Though these steps may seem like fussy tasks, the reward of longer-lasting cut flowers fresh from your garden will be well worth the effort!