No matter how small or how big is your apartment or how small or big your budget, enrich your apartment living with fresh cut flowers! There simply isn’t any other substitute. Okay, a special other or even a dog could top a bunch of flowers in a vase. But I say why not have it all?
Here are 17 cut flowers that are wonderfully fragrant. How to prolong their cut life is discussed at the end. Note: this post focuses on cut flowers purchased (or gifted) from florists. Many are also available from grocery stores, farmers market or can even be grown indoors or on a sunny balcony porch.
The flowers listed here along with Casa Blanca lily include another lily called Stargazer. Following the lilies are the carnation; chrysanthemum; gardenia; narcissus; stephanolis floribunda; freesia, lilac, sweet pea, rosemary; grape hyacinth (mascari); lavender; eucalyptus; eucharis grandiflora; and of course, the mighty rose.
How to prolong the life of cut flowers
from a florist, grocery stores or farmers market.
Prepare your flowers:
- Start with a dry clean vase. This will help reduce bacteria …
- Add warm water (about 100 to 110 degree Fahrenheit or bath water temperature). Most cut flowers will tolerate cold water but warm water is most preferred for a quick water uptake. The amount of water should reach half the length of the stem.
- Use a floral preservative or bactericide or a homemade preservative (Recipes below).
- Hold the florist cut stem under warm water (running water or in a bowl of water) and cut one to two inches at an angle. Use a sharp knife or shears. Remove any leaves that would be under water. Immediately place the stems in the container of warm water. Be sure to keep the blooms dry. Cutting stems under warm water prevents air bubbles from getting into the cut end of the stem. Air bubbles will plug up cells that take in water.
- Flower arrangements that will be displayed later should be stored in a cool humid place and away from the sun and drafts.
Some interesting facts on how to prolong your cut flowers:
Hard water which contains dissolved materials or even water that has been “softened” with a home water-softener is not suitable for keep flowers fresh. Hard water is most often alkaline (pH 7-10). Cut flowers do better in acidic (pH 4-6) water. If at all possible, use distilled or deionized water.
When you improve water uptake and its continuous transpiration (the circulation and evaporation of water from leaves), you reduce the speed at which the flower wilts. From “the roots through the stem and out into every part of the leaves and flowers are water-conducting xylem cells through which water moves to keep the whole plant turgid.” If transpiration is too rapid, the plant wilts and dies.
You can make your own floral preservatives from items already in your apartment home. Here are three that work well.
A special note regarding roses:
When buying roses "The outer one or two petals should be loose, with the sepals turned down around the stem." Trim the thorns when preparing for the arrangement. Some wilted roses may be revived using the following method:
Writing this post was so much fun and just down right challenging! There is so much more that can be said on this subject and there are probably even more flowers that should be on the list. That's what I love about anything on the subject of plants and gardening. The excitement of learning never ends.
Many sources were used to write this post, but I relied heavily on the following and invite you to check them out:
- Care of Cut Flowers and Foliage by James C. Schmidt, Horticulturist, University of Illinois
- Flowers by Scent from Flowers and Plants by Interflora, UK
- Which Cut Flowers Last The Longest from Hubpages.com