Keeping a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers is a perfect way of brightening your home. The look and feel brought about by these flowers create a pleasant atmosphere. However, the tricky task lies in how to maintain their vibrant and healthy look. Whether you received the flowers from someone who adores you as a gift or bought them from your florist to mark a special occasion, you wish to enjoy their fragrance for a longer period. But you may be wondering whether this is possible. Cut flowers are not meant to last long, but the good news is that there are known tips one can use to keep them fresh, thereby extending the longevity of the flowers. These tips are meant to preserve the flowers making the bouquet look brighter for long, thereby extending the happiness they add to your life. Everyone desires their flowers to remain fresh. The big question is, how long do cut flowers last? According to Flora Queen, many of the flowers usually last for one week before they can begin to lose their freshness. However, some flowers usually last more than a week, for example, roses, lilies, and gerberas. According to Grower Direct a flower vase live is dependent on different factors, these factors include:
1. Type of flower
Flowers come in different varieties. The vase life of your flower will therefore depend on the type you choose. They are all not meant to last the same period of time. For instance, a rose and a carnations vase life do vary. Also, roses come in varieties. They differ in color, fragrance, and petal count, making them exhibit different characteristics, thus making them have differences in their vase life.
2. Methods of Growth
Another factor that determines the vase life of a flower is the method under which the flower grew. If two roses, for instance, grew in varying climates and attitudes, their vase life will differ.
3. Time Spent While in Transit after Being Cut from the Farm
Time in transit is an important factor that determines the vase life of a flower. If a flower takes long before it gets to the flower shop, it will have a shorter vase life than what takes the shortest time possible to the shop. Therefore the faster the cut flower arrives for sale, the better. This case is different if one picks the flower from their own garden since they are likely to prolong the duration they remain fresh if they provide them with proper care.
4. Preservation Method Used At the Flower Shop
Once the flowers arrive at the flower shop, the method used by the florist to preserve the flower will also determine the vase life of that particular flower once it’s sold to the final customer. To maintain a longer vase life, it is important to refrigerate at temperatures between 33º – 36º F.
5. Post Harvest Care Applied
The care given to a flower after harvesting it from the farm before reaching a consumer helps maintain its freshness and extend its vase life. Therefore, florists need to ensure the flowers get quality post-harvest care treatments to achieve maximum longevity. This is applicable at the following levels:
- At the Farm Level – While the flower is on the farm, the farm owner’s hydration method determines a flower vase life. The appropriate one should lower pH levels and provides adequate nutrients to facilitate premature bud opening. Moreover, this allows a flower to consume water, which helps it flourish even after being cut.
- At the Store Level – Proper care is necessary to ensure proper hydration, nutrients and prevent bacteria growth while in the stores. Some of the balanced formulas to apply include lowering nutrient levels to prevent the further opening of the flower. This prolongs the freshness of the cut flowers.
- At the Consumer Level – Once flesh flowers are cut from the farm, they usually run short of water and other nutrients needed for growth. To enable the flower to bloom naturally while maintaining its color and scent, there is a need to supply it with flower food. This should happen not only at the store level but also at the consumer level. Failure to do so leads to disruption of the flower food chain meant to retain the vase life.
Cut flower food is designed to ensure continued hydration, prevent bacteria growth and that the flower has enough nutrients for it to bloom. This plays a vital role in ensuring maximum vase life is achieved.
6. The Environment in Which You Place Your Flowers
Where you place your cut flowers positively or negatively impacts your vase life. To ensure that the flowers you obtain maintain their freshness, some of the things you ought to avoid include placing your flowers in direct sunlight, high temperatures, or exposing them to ethylene gas.
- Always ensure that you display your flowers in a conducive environment to achieve a longer vase life.
- Another threat that comes about while trying to maintain your flowers in a vase is bacteria. “According to Odera La Rose” (https://www.odealarose.com/blog/how-long-flowers-last/ ), to prevent the growth of bacteria which can harm your cut flowers, observe the following guidelines:
- Ensure That You Use a Clear Vase
- Bacteria are your worst flowers’ enemies. Always make a point of ensuring that your vase is thoroughly cleaned before adding your flowers. It is a good practice to clean the flower vase wherever you are changing the water. By doing so, you get rid of any debris that could facilitate bacteria growth which in the long run prevents absorption of water, causing your flower to wilt.
- Change Your Vase Water From Time To Time
- The presence of fresh water in your vase prevents bacteria growth. For this reason, you should change the water in your vase after one or two days. Do not top up the water that remains in the vase, as this won’t help eliminate bacteria that may be present. Instead, pour it out, wash your vase and then replace the water afresh.
- Remove the Leaves That Are Below the Water Line
- Decaying leaves become a good home for bacteria and fungi. Remove all the submerged leaves to prevent bacterial rot, making it difficult for the cut flowers to absorb water.
As you have seen, it is impossible to tell exactly how long cut flowers last. It can last for a day or even 12 days, depending on the factors mentioned above.