I love to add a splash of spring cheer to our home with seasonal blooms spilling from pretty flower jugs. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and alstromeria are all in plentiful supply at the moment and are cheap and easy to pick up, but how do you make sure you get the most out of your cut flowers? We've put together our 7 top tips for making your spring flowers last longer.
1. Cut the stems
A fresh cut makes sure the stem is open and able to take on water. Cutting at an angle helps to prevent damage to the stem and also maximises water intake, giving the flowers more opportunity for a good drink.
2. Use a clean vase or jug
Bacteria is the enemy of happy flowers, so make sure you wash your jug with warm soapy water and rinse well before using it. Your flowers hate drinking dirty water and will thank you for it!
3. Fill with fresh cold water
Cold water? Not room tempertaure? Whilst it's true that many flowers prefer room temperature water, flowers grown from bulbs such as tulips prefer cold water, so taking it straight from the tap is perfect. Bulb grown flowers are also generally very thirsty so make sure you refresh the water every couple of days.
4. Keep trimming those stems
Did you know that tulips keep on growing even after they have been cut? When the stems get too long for the jug they start to bend over and wilt. Simply chop a couple of inches of the stems and put in fresh water and you will extend their life by a few more days.
5. Keep away from direct sunlight, appliances and fruit
Yes that's right, fruit. As it ripens, fruit releases very small amounts of ethylene gas which will cause your flowers to mature more quickly. They also dislike being too warm, so keep them out of direct sunlight or near appliances which give off a lot of heat.
6. Add a copper coin
There is some debate about this one, but some people say the copper in a 1 or 2 pence piece helps to acidify the water, reducing bacterial growth and providing optimal conditions for your cut spring flowers. Whilst the copper helps to open the blooms, you may find that they open too quickly, resulting in quicker wilting. The jury's out on this one.
7. Put your flowers in the fridge overnight
There's a reason why florists store their bouquets in a refridgerated space, cut flowers tend to thrive in cooler temperatures as it is thought the cold helps to slow down the process of aging. Ok, I admit putting them in your actual fridge may nor be the most practical option, but if you can move them to a cold bootroom or entranceway you are half way there!
So, to recap, cut the stems, use a clean jug, keep the water fresh and clean, cut again, and keep away from those bananas!