written by: Melody Kester
We’re in the dog days of summer with lots of vibrant, fresh blooms in the garden ready to be picked and placed in arrangements. From bachelor buttons to bishop’s lace, sunflowers to sweet peas, Utah flowers are flourishing. The trick is keeping them fresh when you cut them and bring them indoors. These following cutting tricks and preservative recipes can help you do just that.
1. Only cut the flowers in the cooler times of the day such as morning or late evening.
2. Have a bucket ready filled with clear, cool water to immediately place your cuttings in. Leave the bucket outside in a cool spot for a couple of hours just to make sure that the cut flowers are drinking water and to allow any insects on the flowers will move on.
3. When cutting off the plant cut them down as far as down as you can, only choose two or three blooms per plant.
4. Cut them at a 45 degree angle. The more often you cut them the more productive the plant will become.
5. Strip the leaves on all the stems of flowers above the water line. Leaves below the water increase the bacteria which reduces the life of cut flowers.
6. Change your vase water every 2 or 3 days and add your preservative of choice. Some of the more popular DIY preservative recipes include: Soda – Pour ¼ cup of soda and add water, if you are using a clear vase clear soda such as Sprite or Seven-Up is best. Apple Cider Vinegar – Mix 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 tablespoons of Sugar. Vodka – Add a few drops of Vodka or any clear spirit along with 1 teaspoon sugar. Aspirin – Put a crushed aspirin in the vase water. Bleach – ¼ teaspoon bleach per quart of vase water. You can also do 3 drops of bleach and 1 teaspoon sugar to the vase water. Coins – Add a copper penny and a cube of sugar to vase water. Sugar – Make your own preservative. Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of warm water.

By Melody Kester

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