Norma Boeckler, our artist-in-residence, wrote me a thank-you for showing how to refresh roses, in another post, so I am repeating the advice.
The moment roses and other flowers are cut, the stems begin drawing up air instead of water. To make cut flowers last longer, cut several inches from the bottom of the stems, just before placing them in fresh water in a clean vase.
Cut flowers can be put into a dishpan of clean water to hydrate them, or floated in a tub. I would do this before cutting the stems and placing them in the vase. I became an immersionist when soaking rather dry bare-root roses before planting. I also heavily pruned them upon planting them. They began growing at once and bloomed quickly.
This is why soaking works. The stems and leaves take up water. When I water rose bushes outside, it is often through a soaker hose at the base. However, I still spray them down completely, to hydrate the stems and leaves. Plants are like people, as one book argued. If you feel great after a shower, so do they. The leaves and stems take up water fast, so they have a crisp look and grow better. Rose bushes are like sponges in taking up water, and they like to have their pores clean rather than dusty.
Change the Water Daily and
The decomposing process begins the moment the stems touch the water in the vase. If you looked at the water in a microscope, a lot of swimming little creatures would entertain you. Given a few days, that mildewing water will smell like death. God is reducing the death plant into new chemicals for the soil.
For maximum benefit and long-lasting cut flowers, change the water daily and make sure the vase is cleaned out thoroughly. I am much more a fan of clean water and vases than magical chemicals added.
Refresh the Flowers Again Each Day
The way to make the flowers stay fresh is to soak them again each day and pour water into the blooms. Simply spraying the flowers will help too. A very low water pressure will avoid the sink hose giving the budding a florist a free shower.
Roses have so many petals now that the bloom will cup the water and hold it in place for more hydration.
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