Keep cut flowers fresh with DIY flower food using cupboard staples

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It’s a shame that cut flowers don’t last forever, but with proper care it’s possible to keep them looking fresh and vibrant for a little longer. Gardening expert Chris Bonnett, founder of Gardening Express, gives advice on how to extend the lifespan of fresh cut flower bouquets.

Cut flowers are a great way to add some life and colour inside of your home and they’re known to help ease anxiety, reduce stress and create a much more calming atmosphere.

A lot of people struggle to care for cut flowers properly, meaning that they don’t get to experience their beauty to their maximum potential.

Starting off with the basics, the first step to taking care of cut flowers is to place them in a clean vase. For sparkling clean results scrub the vase thoroughly with a baking soda or white vinegar solution.

It’s also important to choose the right vase for your flowers, this can make a difference in how long they stay fresh for. For example, it’s best to keep heavier flowers in a short vase by cutting the stems short.

This will give them a bit more room as they bloom and will allow them to support one another. Lighter flowers need less space and therefore can be put into a taller vase.

Before putting the flowers in water, make sure to trim the stems at a 45-degree angle. This method will help increase the surface area and will allow the flowers to absorb the water more easily.

You can use garden shears, kitchen scissors, or a sharp knife to cut the stems, just make sure to re-do it every couple of days.

It’s also necessary to cut back the lower leaves that would submerge under water. Not only will it make the bouquet look better, but it will also prevent bacterial growth. Leaves start rotting in water which shortens the life of the blooms.

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Fill the vase with room temperature water and mix in the packet of flower food. If the flowers didn’t come with special flower food then you can also make yourself using basic household products.

For example, one DIY flower food recipe is to mix together two tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of bleach per one litre of water.

This solution kills bacteria and boosts the lifespan of flowers.

Make sure to change the vase water regularly because stale water creates the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish.

I’d suggest cleaning the vase, filling it with fresh water and re-trimming the stems after every other day for maximum results.

Put the vase in a place where it’s out of direct sunlight and keep in mind that cut flowers thrive in a cooler environment.

Avoid placing your arrangement next to appliances that generate heat and you should also not display them near a fruit bowl, as fruits release a tiny amount of gas which is harmful to the flowers.

If you take good care of your cut flowers you’ll find that you can actually keep them for up to around 12 days and enjoy them for much longer.

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