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How to Make Cut Flowers Last

Here’s how to extend the shelf life of your favorite blooms

Photo: Getty Images

One of the best things about having your own flower garden is having access to beautiful, fresh-cut flowers that you can decorate your house with. With just a few extra minutes you can keep your flower arrangements fresh for much longer. Here's how:

  • Cut them in the morning (before the dew dries) or early evening, using sharp scissors. Right after they’ve been cut, put them in lukewarm water.
  • Once you’re inside, cut the bottoms again -- this time on a slant. Everyone seems to know this trick, but raise your hand if you know why! Okay, here’s the story: The slant helps keep air bubbles from creeping up the stem and blocking food and water uptake.
  • Rest the flowers in a cool, dark place before you arrange them. This is called conditioning, and it helps them absorb water.
  • Put your flowers in water about 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and put the vase in a cool (as low as 38 degrees Fahrenheit) and well-ventilated place.
  • For fertilizer, use this homemade formula (it’s proven to be more effective than those little packets that come with store-bought bouquets): Mix 1 cup regular sprite, 1 cup water and ½ tsp bleach. Make sure to change the water every few days.

-- The Nest Editors

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