Tip # 11. Once flowers are placed in water, they begin to decompose or break down by releasing gases and forming bacteria. The cleaner the stems and the less debris in the water, the less decomposition occurs, and the longer the flowers will last.
Tip # 12. All the same kind of flower in a vase or container will last longer than a mix of different types. Certain flowers have a different makeup and decompose by different means. This mixed reaction can shorten the life of all the flowers. The same kind of flower will break down by the same reaction, Actually, a single flower in a vase will last longer than several of the same kind.
Tip # 13. Cloudy or discolored water is an indication of decomposition and bacterial growth. Change the water in the container at least every couple of days, using new, warm water. This will open the stems to allow water to flow to the flower.
Tip # 14. Fresh, clean water is best for the vase life of flowers. Some commercial floral foods can lengthen the vase life as well, but be very careful in measuring the amount. Using too much can actually be harmful. Homemade versions or substitutions, such as lemon lime soda, are not a good idea, because sugar promotes bacterial growth in the water.
Tip # 15. Stems will develop a film and become discolored from stagnating in the water; this blocks water flow to the flower. Recut the stems each time the water is changed to allow water to penetrate the stem.
Tip # 16. Mixed arrangements are sometimes hard to disassemble to change the water and to recut the stems. Flushing the container with fresh water will help somewhat to prolong the life of the bouquet. Use the tap or the spray nozzle on your sink full force for a few minutes with warm water to flush the container completely.
Tip # 17b. Clean the vase, and change the water. Hold the tied bouquet upside down.
Tip # 17c. Place back into the container and cut the twine. Your bouquet should fall back into place.
Tip # 18a. Many flowers will open in the light. This does not mean they are not fresh. It is the nature of that type of flower, which will close again in the dark. Temperature will also cause the same effect.
Tip # 18b. Warmer temperatures will cause the flower to open, and cooler temperatures will cause it to close.
Tip # 19. Flowers last best in temperatures around 45 degrees. Misting flowers with cold water a few times a day will cool them and create this environment temporarily. Flowers can also absorb this extra moisture through their petals.
Tip # 20. Keep flowers out of direct light. Flowers will last longer in a place of low to indirect light. Light creates heat and speeds up the life cycle of the flower. However, flowers with a green tinge owing to early cutting, or tightly budded flowers and branches, will need a strong light source to develop. Once the flowers show full color, put them in a place with less light so they will last.
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