Follow these professional tips for longlasting beauty.
1 Use commercial cut-flower food, such as Chrysal Flower Food, or mix two tablespoons sugar, 1 litre warm water and 1½ tablespoons household bleach.
2 Before arranging flowers, stand them overnight in water up to their necks.
3 If flowers such as roses appear wilted, cut a few centimetres off their stems, place them in hot water for an hour and then arrange them in cold water in a vase. If it is very hot, add ice cubes to the water. A cool mist spray can also help to revive tired petals.
4 Some flower varieties require special techniques to last longer:
Hydrangeas Plunge overnight in a bath of cold water.
Roses Immediately after picking, place roses in 3.5cm boiling water for 30 seconds before putting them in cold water. Cover the petals with a piece of cloth to prevent the steam from damaging them.
Poppies Pick them when the buds are still closed and seal the stems with a candle flame or quickly plunge them into boiling water.
Dahlias Pick them when the flowers are completely open.
Daffodils Pick when the flowers are still tightly closed.
Gladioli Pick when the first flower has opened at the base of the stem.
Tulips Place wire netting in the mouth of the flower vase to support the turning stems of the flowers.
Amaryllus and Delphiniums Turn the flowers upside down and fill the hollow stems with water. Seal the stems with a moist cotton-wool plug and place them upright in water.