Summer’s here, and it’s time to gather those garden blooms. Keep them looking fresh for days with these simple tips on how to preserve cut flowers.

1. Snip

Trim green and woody stems at a 45-degree angle to create the largest possible surface for water intake. If feasible, submerge the stem in water while cutting to avoid the possible absorption of air in the stem.

2. Split and Smash

Flatten the ends of woody-stemmed flowers and ornamental branches to open maximum stem area for water absorption. After vertically splicing a stem’s bottom, hit it with a hammer. 

3. Singe

Lightly burn the ends of any cut flower that exudes a milky of syrupy substance. This seals its end, preventing the loss of nutrients. Water absorption will occur through the stem’s sides. Placing the stem’s end in boiling water also works. 

4. Submerge

For less-than-spritely roses, soak wilted blooms in cool water to revive them. To increase water intake, dunk hydrangea blooms in water before placing them in an arrangement.

Preserve Cut Flowers Further by:

  • Disinfecting containers with a mixture of bleach and water before using. 
  • Changing an arrangement’s water daily. Cloudy water indicates bacterial growth. 
  • Cutting flowers in the cooler morning or evening hours.
  • Immediately placing cut flowers in water to prevent the ends from absorbing air and sealing shut. 

More garden tips from the pro on the Style blog here.

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Brad Mee
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.