Flower Power: Maintain Fresh Cut Flowers to Boost Your Creativity, Productivity and Happiness

Courtesy of MCC

Picture your works space, whether it is an organized office, a colorful art studio or even your favorite spot to work at your kitchen table. Now picture that room with a vibrant bouquet of freshly cut flowers. Big difference, right?  Fresh cut flowers add a punch of color and life to your space unlike anything else. Additionally, a study conducted by Rutgers show that a vase of fresh blooms increase levels of happiness and researchers at Texas A&M University discovered that they can improve creativity. While outdoor flowers can remain beautiful and bountiful outside, once they are cut, there is a limited amount of time before they begin to wilt and wither. However, with the proper care outlined below, your lovely blossoms can enrich your home or office for nearly 14 days.

Cut Correctly

Creating a large enough surface area on the stem for the uptake of water is essential, which is why florists recommend cutting the stem on a slant to expose more area to the water.

Place in Water Immediately

Some people advocate cutting the stems while they’re actually submerged in water. However, you will probably be fine if you simply recut the stems on flowers you brought inside and immediately put them in a vase of water. The key is not to let the tip of the stem dry out or close up with an air bubble, sap or other substances, preventing the uptake of water. Be sure to use lukewarm water so as not to shock the blooms.

Remove Leaves

Take off the leaves of the plant that would end up underwater in the vase. Exposure to the water could cause the leaves to rot and fall off, creating algae or sludge in the vase water. It also may breed extra bacteria or attract small insects to the water. However, do not to remove the thorns from roses, as this tends to shorten their shelf life.

Pick the Young Ones

Mature flowers may have peaked and begun to make room for a new round of blooms, so try to choose young buds or blooms that just opened so that you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy them longer.

Create a Viable Water Atmosphere

Once a fresh flower is cut and a stem is placed in water, bacteria and fungi can start to grow almost immediately. These microscopic organisms can clog the small tubes inside the stem that suck up water for nourishment. Many florists send home a packet of water additive to alleviate some problems in the indoor environment. The packet will contain a biocide that kills bacteria and fungi. There will be an acidifier as well as sugar. The acidifier makes the water more acidic to allow better absorption of water up the stem. The sugar is a food source for the flowers. If you cut flowers from your garden,  purchase these additives or create your own variations from items around the house. It has been said a penny in the water will kill the microorganisms because copper is a fungicide. An aspirin can make the water more acidic. You can also try small amounts of bleach, lemon-lime soda or even antiseptic mouthwash.

Pick the Right Spot

Don’t place cut flowers next to fruit, which gives off gases as it ripens, causing flowers to age faster. Also, keep the flowers away from direct sunlight and try to keep them in a cool place.

Change the Water

Keep on top of water maintenance by changing it at least every 2 to 3 days to maintain good water health. Be sure to replace the additives each time you change the water.

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