A beautiful holiday arrangement or vase of cut flowers adds an elegant touch to any room. Keeping flowers fresh throughout the season and even recycling them after New Year’s is easy if you follow some important tips.
Additives for Fresh Flowers
Drop a crushed aspirin in water before adding roses and other cut flowers. Change the water every several days. Use 1/4 teaspoon of household bleach per quart of water to keep bacterial growth in check. Other bacteria stoppers are a few drops of vodka, a mix of apple cider vinegar and sugar, and leftover soda substituted for sugar. Many believe copper pennies also control bacteria.
One good whoosh on the undersides of petals and leaves will extend the life of cut flowers. Be sure to stand a foot away.
Check holiday arrangements every day to make sure they have the right amount of water. Always use fresh water at room temperature and clean the container when you change the water. Trim stems at an angle ever few days to give them the best opportunity to pull water. This is the perfect time to remove damaged blooms or foliage.
Never leave plants in vehicles for long periods when the outside temperature is less than 45 degrees F. A spot in a cool temperature and away from direct sunlight is best..
They’re high-maintenance plants. While most last a few weeks, proper care can extend life for a few months. First, remove the plant from wrappings and store it away from cold or hot drafts. An ideal day temperature is 60 to 70 degrees F. A good night temperature is about 5 degrees less. To keep the plant alive past New Year’s, remove all colored bracts and all but three leaves on each stem. Repot at the end of spring. Summer and fall care includes pruning and moving the plant indoors as outdoor temperatures fall. A poinsettia should bloom again if you expose it to a minimum of 14 hours of complete darkness in October.
Get creative and reuse pricey holiday flowers. Split a large arrangement into several smaller ones. Incorporate mistletoe, pine cones, berries, greenery, branches, and nuts in a wreath. Recycle containers into candle holders, and turn aging blossoms into potpourri. When selecting holiday flowers, include white carnations, which are fairly inexpensive. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water and watch them take on an exciting new hue.