Cut flowers are popular at any time of year, making an area both look and smell good. Express.co.uk spoke to gardening expert and founder of gardening advice website Blooming Lucky, Louise Findlay-Wilson, who shared her top tips on how to make flowers last longer once they are in a vase.
Louise stressed that the first thing to do once you’ve bought, received, or picked flowers, is to “remove unnecessary leaves”.
She continued: “This will enable the stem to focus on sustaining the flowerhead.
“If you want to have some leaves on the stem, certainly don’t have any foliage under the water line as this will rot.”
Next, “trim the base of the stems before you put them in your vase”.
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Before putting flowers in a vase, it is also a good idea to make sure your vase is “squeezy clean”, Louise said.
“Give it a good scrub and fill it with cold water,” the gardening expert added.
“Don’t use warm water as this will encourage the flowers to open up and so will shorten the time they’re looking tip-top for you.”
To make the flowers last longer, Louise recommended that gardeners “top up the water as it goes down and replace it completely with fresh, clean cold water every two to four days”.
“While you’re doing this, give the bases of the stems a further trim and give the vase a good rinse out while you’re at it,” Louise advised.
“If you’re really serious about extending the life of your vase of flowers, and your arrangement isn’t too huge, some experts recommend popping it in the fridge overnight.”
The positioning of the flowers can also make a difference to their longevity, according to Louise.
She said: “In essence, you’re trying to keep things cool and fresh for your flowers. So, for the same reason, position your vase in a cool spot, in a shaded place which gets indirect sunlight and out of draughts.
“If you have it in blistering sunlight or next to a radiator those blooms will fade much faster.
“When you first cut the flowers and put them in a vase of water, I’d put them somewhere cool for a few hours. This will give the blooms the chance to take in some water without the stress of dealing with a warm room.”
Using flower food is another great tip Louise offered. She said: “Flowers from florists come with a sachet of food.
“Do use it as it usually includes something to help keep the water clean too. But if you don’t have one, you could try making your own.
“Simply mix a litre of water with a teaspoon of sugar and about a tablespoon of vinegar, stir it, then add it to your vase of flowers.”
Although Louise’s tips work with all flowers, she highlighted that daffodils are a little different to other types.
She said: “If you’ve got some daffodils don’t put them in a vase with other types of flowers – daffs emit a chemical which will shorten the life of everything else in the vase.”