SOMEONE special in your life has given you a beautiful bunch of flowers, or you have just cut some flowers out of your garden - but now you're thinking, what do I do with them?
If you are like most people, you'll chuck them in a vase of water and forget them, only to find that they are dead within a couple of days.
Here are some great tips to extend the vase life of cut flowers to get the absolute most out of them:
1. The fresher, the better. Cut flowers in your garden during the morning or early evening when the temperatures are cooler. Use sharp pruners. As you cut the flowers, place them in a bucket of lukewarm water.
2. Once indoors, cut the stems with a sharp knife on a slant under running tap water.
3. Remove leaves that will be below the water line in the vase. Do not remove thorns from roses as they won't last very long.
4. Condition the cut flowers by placing the stems in lukewarm water for several hours in a cool, dark place. This allows better absorption of water into the flowers.
5. Do not store or place cut flowers near unsealed fruits or vegetables. This could possibly produce ethylene gas that quickens the aging process of your flowers.
6. Change the water in the vase every two days.
7. Feed your flowers. You can use the little packet of flower food that often comes with shop-bought bunches of flowers, or you can make your own. A good mixture is half lemonade and half water, which you should change every day. Other substances which you can use to make plant food are: few splashes of citrus fruit juice, vinegar, mouthwash or a crushed aspirin plus a teaspoon of sugar to the water.
Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: www.stayathomemum.com.au