Cut flowers- making them last.


Jed

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I've noticed that when you bend the ends of daffodil stems before you place them in a vase they seem to last much longer.

I was talking to a very old friend yesterday who said he preserves his flowers using colloidal silver water which he makes himself.
I found this very interesting as colloidal silver is suppose to be a health tonic and an antibiotic by some.

Does anyone else go to the trouble of making those lovely cut flowers last just that little bit longer using these methods or any others? Would love to hear of any.
 
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I'm not sure about daffodils, I only know that you shouldn't keep them in the same vase with other flowers because of the mucus.
When I get roses, I always add some salt to their water. When I get tulips, I add sugar. This really works:)
 

Jed

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When I get roses, I always add some salt to their water. When I get tulips, I add sugar. This really works:)
I'ld never heard of the use of salt. That's interesting. I had heard of lemonade. I guess that's the sugar component. :)
 
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Wow, those are all new to me. I've heard of aspirin and all manner of things, but I think it depends on the flowers. Carnations are long lasting as are astromera (I get two weeks out of those).

Does anyone use the plant food packets that come with the flower bunches? I have tons because it seems pointless when you're having to change the water frequently.
 
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Jed, my mother told me about adding salt, I don't know where she heard of it but it really helps. Many of my roses lived for more than two weeks:D
ChanellG, I've never heard about plant food packets. I think it's not popular here where I live.
 
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When we buy cut flowers here at the market they come with these little packets of powder that you dissolve in the water to prolong the life of the flowers. Not sure what is in the powders, but I think it's some kind of chemical.
 
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Jed

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When we buy cut flowers here at the market they come with these little packets of powder that you dissolve in the water to prolong the life of the flowers. Not sure what is in the powders, but I think it's some kind of chemical.
Jed, my mother told me about adding salt, I don't know where she heard of it but it really helps. Many of my roses lived for more than two weeks:D
ChanellG, I've never heard about plant food packets. I think it's not popular here where I live.
I did a bit of googling and it appears that salt maybe used to stop infection and sugar would give them food. Maybe these white powdered sachets are nothing more than that.
They require food and to be free from decay and infection be kept cool and out of direct sunlight.
 

Jed

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Here's a recipe. Perhaps citric acid is one of the powders?
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 1 quart warm water
 
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My mom recommended sugar and cutting the stems at an angle instead of straight across. I use that method for zinnia that I grow in springtime and it works very well. I think the place you put your cut flowers matters a great deal, too. Filtered sunlight seems to help them last and you should change the water frequently while snipping the ends at an angle each time you replace the water. The salt idea is a mystery to me! Never heard that before, lol!
 
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I only know that salt is good for roses, I'm not sure if it will help other flowers.
ChanellG, these little packets of powder sound like a good idea to me. I don't like chemicals but cut flowers will die eventually anyway.
 
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I just tried to google floral life and found a similar product that says it contains hydrogen peroxide, nano-silver, nutrients, and "non-hazardous proprietory additives." I also found a link to an article that claims plain aspirin works just as well.
 
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Jed

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I just tried to google floral life and found a similar product that says it contains hydrogen peroxide, nano-silver, nutrients, and "non-hazardous proprietory additives." I also found a link to an article that claims plain aspirin works just as well.
That nano silver is probably the colloidal silver water my friend uses in his vases of flowers.
The hydrogen peroxide probably is similar to using bleach that's used in the googled recipe.
When it comes down to it I suppose if you don't have the convenience of a commercial product ready to be used you would reach for salt or an asprin.
 
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I'm curious to know what is the longest any of you have kept cut flowers alive in a vase. Be sure to let us know which flowers, what you added to the water, if you removed leaves, and how often you changed the water, if at all.
 
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Some of my roses lived for more than two weeks, close to three weeks. As I mentioned before, I added salt to the water. I also changed water every day and I had to shorten the stalk a few times because the end of it started to rot.
 

Jed

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I'm curious to know what is the longest any of you have kept cut flowers alive in a vase. Be sure to let us know which flowers, what you added to the water, if you removed leaves, and how often you changed the water, if at all.
The only time I can accurately remember was daffodils which was close on two weeks staying fresh looking.
One vase was those that had the flowers neatly cut which didn't last as those I had snapped off and put in the vase with some bent stems. There may have been at least one water change with nothing added.
 
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I had a table at one place I lived and I actually called it the "sweet spot" for cut flowers. It got dappled sunlight most of the day and plenty of fresh air because it was near a window that I opened frequently. Anyway, I kept roses for up to 3 weeks and cosmos, shasta daisies or zinnias for up to four weeks in a vase there, looking very nice. I used the method I explained above, a bit of sugar, and nip the stems diagonally about every three days or when the water started getting a little cloudy.
 
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Jed

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That's so interesting of your "sweet spot". That's something we should take into account.
Normally I just plonk the vase on a table and another on a workbench.:cool:
I should take note of those places and other they do best at.
Thanks for that tip blueiris.:)
 
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I usually get the bunches at the grocery store that are 3 for $10 or $12. Sometimes I will just get one mixed bouquet and divide it up to make smaller arrangements which I place all over the house, including the bathroom.

I find as long as it is not too warm, they last about the same regardless of location, but none of the places I put them are in contact with direct sunlight.

Sometimes I change the water and sometimes I just top it off, depending on the behavior of the flowers. You have all inspired me to try making my own salt and sugar solutions though. I wonder if a drop or two of liquid fertilizer would have an effect.
 

Jed

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You have all inspired me to try making my own salt and sugar solutions though. I wonder if a drop or two of liquid fertilizer would have an effect.
I wouldn't use a fertilizer but a conditioner. Something like a seaweed solution which promotes flowering. Fertilizer I would imagine is for growth only.
 
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Jed, I was thinking something like the homemade stuff we have been discussing from banana peel or coffee grinds. Hadn't thought about seaweed. I have some banana peel water that should be ready for use, though I don't have any cut flowers to test in on.
 

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