CUT FLOWER CARE
The beloved or feared Valentine arrives depending on who you ask. Like it or not, flowers are a very typical resource these days. After smelling them and thanking them for the detail, we go like crazy for a vase, we fill it with water and there are those cut flowers until they hold. Have you ever considered that with a little care they can last longer than you think? Let’s see them.
The immediate operation after receiving some flowers is usually to fill a nice vase that we have at home with water and place them as the center. We know that they do not last long, but still, the detail is nice. We can always make them last longer and give us that color at home for longer, but first let’s see what we have in hand.
Although in this article we focus on the conservation of ornamental species, used in decoration, the ideal, at least for edible flowers , is to have them in substrate and to be able to use them in the kitchen when we need them, just by pulling out the stems or leaves that we choose.
THE CUT FLOWER, WITHOUT A ROOT, WE DO NOTHING OR VERY LITTLE
Let’s be realistic. As much as we want to, cut flowers will last for hours, or a few days if the flower is resistant. We have deprived a cut flower of its environment to absorb a large part of the elements it needs for its maintenance and development (the roots and the vast majority of the leaves).
So no matter how hard you try, they wo n’t last long in that state . In any case, the flower still has the ability to move water through its plant structures and we must provide it. Here are a few tips to try to make the flowers last splendid as long as possible.
COOL PLACE, OR SUNNY?
It is often a mistake to think that a cut flower will need light to be turgid and splendid for a longer time. Big mistake. Once we have stripped the flower of most of its foliar and root structure, it is best to keep it in a rather cool place and without direct sunlight . This will keep them longer. In addition to controlling the thermal aspect, you have to be very careful with drafts. Avoid them at all costs.
CLEAN CUTS IN THE STEMS
The stems are usually cut at 45º. If they are straight, try to cut a bit of it to leave it beveled. This beveled cut allows the water contact surface to increase. The important thing is that the pruning shears or razor you use have the edge of a scalpel so that the cut is as clean as possible and does not tear plant tissues. Some people advise to cut 1 or 2 centimeters from the stem from time to time.
DO NOT SUBMERGE LEAVES IN THE WATER
One of the reasons for premature wilting of cut flowers is usually infections. Remember that the stem has a wound (the cut) and through that wound a multitude of pathogens can enter that drastically reduce its life. Plant structures such as leaves are not intended to be submerged in water . If you do, they will end up rotting with the consequent bacterial proliferation. in the water, introduce only clean stems of leaves.
CHANGE THE WATER DAILY
This is an important step. Perhaps one of the most important. Keeping clean water every day is essential. Think of the flowers as your own pet. They need fresh water every day. Bulb plants like tulips require cold water. Most of them, with fresh, tepid water is enough. Do not fill the container more than 3/4 of the total volume (with the flowers inside).
It is not recommended that the water touches the bottom of the flowers. (If you use preservatives you will not have to change it daily).
PRESERVATIVES FOR CUT FLOWERS
Today they are the best option to keep the flowers as freshly cut for several days. Preservatives have been screwed up. There have been cases of preservatives for cut flowers with real barbarities in their composition, totally disrespectful with the environment. Fortunately, over the years, we already have a wider range and there are preservatives that we could call “organic” (although it is not the appropriate term at all)
The latter do not pose a threat to human health or the environment . These preservatives inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, microalgae and other organisms that can affect the preservation of cut flowers.
CUT FLOWERS AND CLIMACTERIC FRUITS. BAD MATCH
This is a detail that we ignore more often than it seems. Let’s think about the location of some cut flowers. They will be the centerpiece on many occasions.
It would be normal for them to be placed next to a fruit bowl for example. Fruits, while appearing harmless, can affect flowers very negatively.
Banana, apple, tomato, melon among others (climacteric fruits) give off ethylene, a growth regulator that induces the ripening of the fruits even when they are outside the tree. This ethylene also has the characteristic of accelerating the senescence of the flowers, therefore it keeps the fruits away from the cut flowers!
We hope that with all these tips, your flowers will be colorful and smooth for as long as possible.