Flower Arranging
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Flower Gardening

Does salt prolong the life of a cut flower?

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Wiki User
2009-03-11 05:30:30

No, most plants can be damaged or killed by salt.

To keep cut flowers fresh longer, you can try several things

with household products such as:

* Put two teaspoons of sugar and 3 drops of chlorine bleach per

quart of cool water to use in the cut flower vase. * Use the bleach

only, in same proportions with cool water. * Mix 7-up (or Sprite or

similar clear carbonated drink) in the water; about 1/8 cup per

quart of water. * Drop an aspirin along with two teaspoons of sugar

in a quart of water. The purpose of these additives to the water is

to provide some 'food' for the flowers (sugar or soft drink

sugars--use regular and not diet soda) and something to inhibit

bacterial growth (bleach or acids such as provided by the aspirin

and the carbonated drinks.)

Other important (perhaps more important than additives) steps to

take include keeping the water fresh by changing it daily.

keep the flowers out of direct sun and in a cooler part of the


Before arranging the flowers, cut off any leaves that will be

below the level of the water in the vase, leaves or other debris in

the water will hasten the degradation of the water (rot,

decomposition) and allow bacteria to grow and in turn cause the

flower stems to begin to degrade and not be able to "absorb" water

any more. Also keep only as many leaves as needed for a nice

arrangement attached to the flowers, extra greenery left on the

stems will rob the flowers of water and nutrients and make them

wilt sooner.

To prepare the stems for arranging, cut the ends at an angle so

they do not rest flat on the bottom of the vase. Angled ends allow

better transfer of the water up the stems. Use a very clean and

sharp knife to make a clean cut diagonally across the ends. Ideal

is to cut the stems under water to keep the saps from thickening

and clogging the water transfer up the stems, and to prevent a

bolus of air from entering the ends affecting the capillary action.

If unable to cut the stems under water, as soon as the ends are

cut, immediately put them in water, do not delay that process.

Recut the stem ends each day when changing the water to keep the

ends open and not 'sealed'.

If the flowers have a woody consistency to the stems such as

roses, pussy willow, and forsythia, the capillary action will be

improved if you gently smash the very tip ends to open them into

shredded fibers. I whack them with the clean bottom of a saucepan

or use the flat side of a kitchen meat tenderizing "hammer".

There are also some flowers that don't do well sharing vases

with other flowers. For example, tulips and some other flowers from

bulbs can ooze saps that damage other flower stems, they are best

displayed in their own vase. Sunflowers can also create this kind

of problem with other flowers.

Finally, to repeat, change the water daily and even if that is

the only thing you do, you should see a noticeable increase in the

life of the cut flowers.

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