Posted by Nicole Fleet on 10th Aug 2016
How much love do you really give your flowers? You bring them home from the shop, fill a vase with water, add the flower food, cut the stems & nicely arrange them in the vase... And then what?
This is a good start but there is a lot of love (that doesn't take a lot of time or energy) that you can give them to help your flowers last a lot longer... maybe even double the life you've had before!
Here's the first 2 tips in our 9 tip series on how to make your flowers last longer than they ever had before...
Bacteria is a sure way to shorten the lifespan of your flowers. We can't see it but it's present in so many places... if you can take a few precautions to keep your accessories clean in order to reduce the bacteria, your flowers will give you a lot more joy for longer. Starting with a sparkling clean vase!
Clean, rinse and then sanitize your vase. There is a difference between cleaning & sanitizing! Here's 3 easy steps to a sparkling clean vase for your flowers:
1. Clean with detergent or soap
2. Rinse really well under hot running water to remove all soap from the vase.
3. Sanitize your vase with a diluted bleach solution: mix 1.5 tablespoons of bleach in 1 litre of water - swirl around the inside of the vase then rinse well again. The bleach will prevent bacteria from growing within the vase.
Allow your vase to air dry - wiping dry can simply re-contaminate with new bacteria.
Have you ever pulled a vase out of a cupboard with a residue line around the inside? It look unsightly & certainly doesn't appeal. Clear vases are lovely to use but sometimes hard to clean. Using a sparkling clean vase before you even place your flowers in it will make a difference. Life if busy (believe me I know!!) so I've done a bit of research & found a few different tips using common household products for cleaning stubborn stains from your vase:
1. Salt & Vinegar: Mix 1/3 cup of salt with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to form a paste. Spread it around the inside of the vase concentrating on the stained areas (using your fingers or a brush). Let it sit for 10-20 minutes depending on how hard the stain is then wipe off & rinse thoroughly under hot running water. Continue with sanitizing using bleach solution.
2. Antacid Tablets: If you don't need the vase immediately - fill the vase with water & add 2 dissolving antacid tablets. Let it soak over night then poor out & rinse well under hot running water. Finish with sanitizing using bleach solution.
3. White Vinegar: Drizzle white vinegar over a paper towel until it is lightly saturated. Rub the mineral deposits in small, circular motions until they are removed. Rinse well under hot running water. Finish with sanitizing using bleach solution.
Using sharp scissors, shears or a knife that are specifically designed for cutting plant stems will vastly improve a flowers ability to uptake water. Blunt shears or scissors will crush & damage the vascular system in the flower stem reducing it's ability to uptake water & nutrients & deliver them to the flower head. So do your flowers a favour & make sure your snips are sharp at the very least :-)
Cleaning your shears & utensils before cutting your flowers removes bacteria that can be transferred to the flower stem & in turn shorten the lifespan. Follow the same steps as cleaning your vase in Tip 1:
1. Clean with detergent or soap
2. Rinse thoroughly under hot running water
3. Sanitize with Bleach solution (as above: mix 1.5 tablespoons of bleach in 1 litre of water - swirl around the inside of the vase then rinse well again.
Allow your tools to air dry - wiping dry can simply re-contaminate with new bacteria.
CLICK HERE to buy flowers for your home & see how long they really do last using our 9 Tip Series on "How to make your flowers last longer"!
Keep following our blog to read Tips 3-9 on How to make your flowers last longer.
All prices are in AUD