Expert Q&A

Q. I love buying fresh flowers, but since they’re so expensive, I want them to last. Any tips to keep them from wilting?

A. You can make beautiful blooms last longer by following these dos and don’ts:

Do buy flowers that have been refrigerated or at least kept in an air-conditioned shop. They’ll last longer than those that have been sitting in the bucket at the supermarket or a roadside stand.

Do use sharp scissors or a knife to remove any leaves that will end up below the water line and deteriorate. 

Do use commercial floral preservative. Homemade concoctions of sugar and bleach just don’t work as well.

Do keep your flowers out of direct sunlight and away from heaters, which cause wilting.

Don’t use clear glass vases. Coloured glass or opaque containers make it harder for that unsightly, smelly plant slime (actually algae) to grow. Be sure containers are scrupulously clean.

Don’t shock cut flowers with cold. They respond best to room temperature water.

Don’t place flowers near a bowl of fruit or vegetables, which emit ethylene gas that causes wilting. 

Don’t forget to clean the vase, completely replace the water, add new floral preservative and recut the stems every three days.


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