Flowers On Chevron want to ensure that your fresh cut flowers last as long as possible. This information will help you to achieve that.

Fresh cut flowers

The essential ingredients for the best care of fresh cut flowers are:

  • Temperature management and the selected display location
  • Water quality and treatment
  • Preparation of the flowers
  • Maintenance of the water quality and the flowers

We will also give you some advice on how to care for flowers received in containers with floral foam.

Temperature Management and Flower Display Location

Temperature management is one of the most important actions in caring for your flowers. Flowers use a lot of energy to produce their brilliant colours and to form the flower itself

This causes the flower to generate a lot of heat which accelerates the rate of deterioration of the flowers. Keep the flowers away from direct sunlight and any heat sources such as heaters, stoves, lamps and television sets. Also avoid exposing the flowers to ripening fruit or car exhaust fumes and remove damaged flowers. These produce Ethylene gas which is harmful to flowers.

When you buy flowers in the summertime carry your flowers in the air conditioned cabin of the car.  Placing them in the boot or leaving them in the cabin without air conditioning will shorten the life of the flowers considerably.
Conversely the tropical varieties such as Orchids, Anthariums, Heliconias and Birds of Paradise are best kept at temperatures of greater than 15 degrees centigrade.

Water Quality and Treatment

Cut flowers are very sensitive to drying out as their moisture content is easily lost through the soft flower tissues .When placed in water the water moves  through the flower along very fine tubes which are easily “plugged” by very small solid particles in the water. It is therefore important that the flower water is kept as clean as possible to stop plugging and to maximise rehydration. Warm ( bath temperature) water is better than cold. Many flowers are not “fussy” and take up cold water easily but if in doubt use warm water.

Adding a sachet of commercial flower food/preservative will help to keep the water clean and provide essential nutrition to the flowers. If you do not have a sachet of the commercial flower food/preservative you can make your own by mixing the following  in a litre of lukewarm ( bath temperature) water:

  • One teaspoon of sugar
  • One teaspoon of household bleach
  • Two teaspoons of lemon or lime juice

Flower Preparation

After 10 minutes out of water the bottom of the stems of the flowers will “self seal” as nature’s way of preserving their moisture content. To break this seal and enable the flowers to rehydrate (take up the water), use a sharp knife or secateurs to cut 30mm to 50mm off the bottom of the stem at an angle of 45 degrees, preferably under water This prevents air bubbles from getting into the cut end of the stem. The angled cut stops the stems from sitting flush on the bottom of the vase which would reduce the water uptake.

To help keep the water clean, remove any leaves from the stems which will be under water. It is important to leave some leaves on the stems above the waterline. These are required as part of the hydration process.

Note: Roses should be placed in containers “filled to the brim” with water which has been treated as outlined above.

Maintenance of Flowers in Vases

If you have followed the above advice you have done nearly all you can to extend the vase life of your fresh cut flowers. Please maintain these conditions by:

  • Checking the arrangement daily and removing any dead or dying foliage
  • If required top up the water level (to half -way up the stem length).
  • Check the water cleanliness at least every 2 to 3 days. Change the water and add the flower
    food/preservative as outlined above.
  • Re-cut the stems before putting the flowers back into the vase/container

Flowers in Floral Foam

For a variety of reasons customers will sometimes ask for fresh cut flowers to be arranged in floral foam which has been saturated in water and which has had flower food/preservative added to it. Floral foam is usually for flowers arranged in boxes, bowls or some other containers.

The foam will eventually dry out therefore it is important that water is added to the foam to increase the life of the flowers. This is done by adding ¼ to ½ a cup  of “treated” water to the floral foam every 2 to 3 days.

Follow the above instructions and you will enjoy your flowers for the longest time possible.