Tips for keeping cut flowers fresher for longer

Lots of us are buying flowers fairly regularly because well..they look lovely and cheer us up. But they are an expense, so if you've got room, start growing flowers in your garden. And to avoid the annoyance of them wilting in a few days, gardening company J Parker has some maintenance tips.

Buy flowers or grow your own..whichever, they'll cheer you up

If you love having vases full of fresh flowers at home, follow a few key tips to keep your bunches/bouquets daisy fresh for a good week or even two. Pictured above: hand-tied bouquet from Bloom & Wild 

J Parker, which sells plants and bulbs online, has some easy to follow tips tips to prolong the life of cut flowers:

  • Cut the stems and re-trim every few days to refresh their life-span;

  • Prune the bouquet constantly to remove anything that wilted or started rotting, to prevent spread;

  • Use flower food every time the water is changed, every few days, at room-temperature only; a rule of thumb is whenever the water begins to be colored or dirty;

  • Despite potted plants being light-loving, counterintuitively, fresh-cut flowers should be kept away from direct sunlight or sources of heat;

  • Mist them regularly as it’s beneficial for ensuring freshness;

  • Add a few drops of vodka in the water to keep the ‘happy hour’ going longer, and slow down their ‘ageing process’.

The benefits of fresh-cut flowers and growing your own 

* They can help you save money

Use perennial flowers from your garden instead of buying bouquets from florists, which are always quite expensive. Flowers you grow can have a life cycle of around three years. 

* They can clean the air 

Flowers in vases can purify the air as much as the potted ones, with an added bonus of scenting a room. 

* Flowers are healing mood-boosters

Studies show that just focusing your eye on vase full of roses can put you in a good mood. And if you've grown the flowers yourself in your garden or containers, well your mental health will have been improved by the act of gardening!  Flowers reputed to have healing powers include iris, jasmine and lavender.

 

Garden flowers look great in a simple jug
Phlox is easy to grow and you can cut stems for bunches indoors

Seasonal flowers and resilient perennials

Some of the sturdiest perennials to grow at home are astrantias, leucanthemums, phlox, peonies, and hydrangeas. Popular choices for spring are forsythias, poppies, japonica, anemones and dahlias. For summer, go with hydrangeas, mock oranges, gardenias and foxgloves. For autumn colour grow roses, alstroemeria, ranunculus, and salvia. For winter it's got to be hellebores, amaryllis and chrysanthemums.