Having fresh flowers in your home or office can brighten up a room literally and improve your mood, too. If you’ve created a gorgeous garden of blooms, why not use your hard work in the garden as your source of flowers rather than forking out cash at the store or market? If you follow our tips for cutting fresh flowers, you’ll be able to enjoy them to their fullest. And you can read our guide to flower arranging to make sure your bouquet is one to impress.
When to Cut
You may be tempted to snip a few blooms when you’re outside midday, but this isn’t the best idea. If you cut flowers first thing in the morning, you’ll get ’em after the cooler temps at night have helped to restore their strength. If you cut them at night, they’ll be filled with food. Either option is a good way to maximize the longevity of cut flowers.
How to Cut
Picking flowers might sound like a fine idea when the feeling strikes, but you should never break or pull flower stems. Instead, bring a sharp pair of pruning shears, or scissors if you’re cutting thin stems, outside, so you’ll make clean cuts. You don’t want to damage delicate stems.
Keep Them Wet
When you go out to cut your flowers, take a bucket or cup of water with you. This way, as you cut each flower you can place it in water. If the stem is left to fly in the breeze, the air will start to seal up the flower so it will wilt before you get a chance to enjoy it.
Re-Cut the Stems
Once you get your cut flowers inside, you’ll want to re-cut the stems. Do this underwater for the best results. Also, this time, take care to cut the stems at a 45-degree angle. The angled cut will help ensure your flowers will absorb the maximum amount of water in the case, as it keeps them from sitting flat in the vase.
Blooms from Bulbs
Some flowers need special care when cutting. Blooms that grow from bulbs can struggle to drink water unless you snip of the white part at the bottom of the stem before you put them in water. Watch out for this with daffodils, crocuses and tulips.
Milky Stem Flowers
Sunflowers and zinnias are what green thumbs call milky stem varieties. To keep the flower from losing all of their nutrients, which are important for them to keep looking beautiful once you take them inside, you should dip each stem in boiling water for about 30 seconds before placing them in the vase.
Woody Stem Flowers
If you have a dogwood or lilacs, you’re in luck with great blooms, but you have to be sure to cut the stems properly to enjoy them in the house. Use a hammer to smash the thick stems at the bottom until they’re frayed.
Food for Longevity
Since you won’t get a packet of powder (which contains who knows what!) when you get a bouquet of flowers from your backyard, you can use DIY solutions to make the flowers last. Everyone has their own recommendation for what you should put in the water. Since bleach and aspirin don’t appeal to our eco side, try a copper penny and a cube of sugar; two tablespoons of both apple cider vinegar and sugar; or a few drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar – yes, vodka.
Images: eedrummer, per Ola Wiberg-Powl