A blog about all things related to flowers.

How to properly cut your flower stems

You just purchased or received a brilliant bouquet of flowers. To prolong the life expectancy of your blooms, proper care is necessary.

Here’s how to properly cut your flower stems:

1. On an angle
The first step in extending the life of your flowers is to individually cut each stem on a 45-degree angle. The reason for the angled cut is to increase the surface area, allowing the flowers to absorb more water. Be to use sharp kitchen shears or a sterile knife. Avoid using dull tools because they can squish the stem, which will hinder its ability to uptake an adequate amount of water.

2. Underwater
It is recommended to cut your flower stems under a steady stream of water. The reason for this is because when the stem is cut, the flower’s roots immediately loses access to water. As air flows through the stem, an air pocket or embolism occurs, preventing the absorption of water. Cutting underwater reduces the risk of air pockets and allows the flowers to absorb water right away.

3. Length
Although it may look like the stems have already been cut, flowers can always benefit from a regular maintenance check. After you place the stems under water, cut about 3/4 to 1 inch off the bottom. If you notice some discoloration on the stem, feel free to cut until all the browning is removed. Additionally, cut off any excess leaves that fall below the water line. This reduces rotting and clouding in the water.

4. Proper timing
Typically, flowers are shipped dry, so in order for them to sufficiently rehydrate, you must cut the stems again. You’ll want to re-cut the stems on a pre-arranged bouquet, too. Basically, flowers should be re-cut after they are purchased, picked or delivered. You’ll want to cut the stems of your flowers about every three days. Be sure to clean the vase and change the water, too.

5. Flower type
Certain flowers need more TLC than others, so be sure to do your research to know how much attention to give. For instance, alstroemeria and daisies are thirsty flowers, so they need lots of water. Birds of Paradise thrive in warm environments, so place them in a room that is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Calla lilies and peonies are fragile and bruise easily, – handle with care. Carnations are especially susceptible to ethylene gas, so avoid putting these blooms in your kitchen. Gerber daisies collect bacteria, so change their water daily and replenish with floral food. If your hydrangeas are starting to wilt, revive them by cutting the stems a bit and placing them in warm water for about an hour.

General tips:

  • Flowers should be kept in a cool environment – between 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep your flowers away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, under ceiling fans or on top of radiators and TVs. The heat will increase the rate of water evaporation, and your flowers will start to dehydrate.
  • To further extend the life of your flowers, drop an aspirin in the vase. This will help reduce the bacteria count in the water.
  • Keep your arrangements away from fruit, as it releases ethylene gas. This gas will prematurely age your flowers and cause them to wilt sooner.

Be sure to check out Teleflora for more information on how to care for fresh cut flowers.

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