Follow these professional tips for long-lasting 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.
Words and image: Home magazine