We all want our flowers to last forever. We want it so much that there are entire aisles in Michael’s devoted to plastic flowers that will bloom for eternity. But when it comes to creating a warm atmosphere with pleasant fragrances, nothing compares to the real thing. Here’s how to get the most of your potted plants and flowers.
Choose your plants wisely
All plants are different. Some flower for different lengths of time or even at completely opposite times of the year. When it comes to cut flowers, they too last varying lengths depending on the species. The time a cut flower lasts before wilting is called its vase life. The vase life is a hard life. But certain flowers withstand it better than others.
- Chrysanthemums (25-30 days) – They’re not a flashy flower, and they don’t need much to survive in a vase other than fresh water each day
- Orchids (10-30 days) – There are countless varieties of orchids available. Aside from their unique form and appearance, orchids can also be surprisingly hardy
- Anthurium or “flamingo flower” (15-45 days) – Flamingo flowers are a rare sight, and last quite a long time if maintained properly. But pet owners beware: they’re considered toxic to dogs and cats
Preparing the vase
The first thing to remember is to clean a vase thoroughly before you put flowers in it. Once clean, start to prepare your water.
Plants need food too. If your flowers came with plant food this is the best option for preserving your flower. Otherwise, there are homemade recipes for plant solution that usually involve something acidic and something sugary. Lemon juice and sugar work well mixed with water. Or you can mix one part lemon-lime soda (not diet soda) with three parts water.
Next, cut the flowers slightly longer than the length of the vase and pop them in.
Caring for your flower
The job’s not over once you put the flowers in the vase. The real trick to making flowers last longer is caring for them once in the vase.
- Trim a centimeter or less off of the stems every other day
- Add water as needed and refresh the water after a few days. Be sure to add your plant food solution as well
- The flowers themselves can be maintained as well. Most flowers benefit from being misted with water once every day or two. Others recommend spraying things like hair spray which acts as a preservative directly onto the petals. Though it seems do defeat the purpose of taking such care to keep the flowers healthy.
- Be sure to keep the flowers in a temperate place. If the flowers or water heat up or cool down too much the flowers could wilt
The flowers are dead. Now what?
Once the flowers have wilted (hopefully after a long amount of time due to reading the aforementioned tips!) it may seem like you have no further use for them. But there are plenty of creative ways to repurpose wilted flowers on the internet such as making a wreath or even adding them to your bath. Let us know which flowers you’ve had the best luck with!