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5 Tips for Keeping Cut Flowers Fresher Longer

The season may have passed on your Mother’s Day bouquet, but there are ways to keep those blooms around for longer and it doesn’t take much of a magic touch to do it.</br></br>Use these five tips to enjoy your flowers for countless extra hours.</br></br><strong>Tip 1: Choose Wisely</strong></br></br>This isn’t an option if your flowers were a gift, of course, but if you’re buying cut flowers for yourself or someone else you can get ahead of the game by choosing blooms that have a longer shelf life.</br></br>Carnations, daisies and mums are the beautiful zombies of the cut-flower world. They will stay fresh and vibrant-looking for weeks with little more than a change of water. Alstroemeria and chrysanthemums also have decent staying power.</br></br><strong>Tip #2: Just Add Water</strong><strong> </strong></br></br>This might sound crazy, but water does make a difference. Cut flowers may be a-knockin’ on heaven’s door, but they still deserve a last meal. Make sure the stem ends are well covered in <a title="Decorative Vases" href="http://www.atgstores.com/decor/home-decor-accessories/decorative-vases/" target="_blank">your flower vase</a>, but don’t keep it high enough to submerge any leaves.</br></br>It also helps to use demineralized water and to avoid using soft water altogether, as it contains salt. And, no matter what other steps you decide to take, always remember to change your water (and any additions you make to it) every two days.</br></br><strong>Tip #3: Cut It Off</strong></br></br>You’ve probably heard that you should cut your flower stems at an angle to promote longer life, but what you may not have heard is that you should do your cutting <em>underwater</em>.</br></br>Submerging the stems while you cut ensures no air seeps into them that could then make it harder for blooms to absorb the goodies that will keep them bright.</br></br><strong>Tip #4: Disrupt Bacteria Growth</strong></br></br>There are all kinds of things you can add to the water that will give plants an extra shot of life. Some people use pennies, others use vinegar and a few hardcore flower lovers might even use booze to keep the bacteria at bay.</br></br>Yes, these things aren’t exactly good for plants, but cut flowers have already suffered the fatal blow, so you may as well make it count.</br></br><strong>Tip #5: Serve Yummy ‘Food’</strong></br></br>Your cut flowers want sugar. A couple tablespoons per water change should do the trick, although you’ll still want to add something to kill the bacteria as well as an acid to promote absorption.</br></br>If you’re wondering if your florist sells something that premixes all this stuff, you’ll be happy to know that she does. It’s generally called “flower food” and it contains sugar, an antibacterial and an acidic component that helps cut flowers absorb it all.</br></br>But, you can also make your own at home with a squirt of lemon (acid), a dash of sugar (food) and a splash of bleach (antibacterial). Use these tips and keep your flowers fresher longer!
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