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Caring for Garden Fresh Cut Flowers

Bring a bit of your garden’s beauty indoors for all to enjoy.  Fresh cut flowers right from the garden make everyday a special occasion. 

Collect flowers in the morning or evening when they are fully hydrated.  Cut the flowering stems back to a set of healthy leaves or base of the flowering stems so the plant still looks good in the garden.

Take a bucket of water to the garden to keep flowers fresh and hydrated while you harvest the rest of your bouquet. Store cut flowers in a cool location until you are ready to use them.

Remove the lower leaves from the stems before arranging.  Submerged leaves can lead to fungal growth and reduce vase life.

Recut the stem on a slight angle to prevent it from sitting square on the bottom of the vase, preventing the uptake of water.

Place the flowers in fresh water in a clean vase.   Keep the vase filled with water and add a bit of commercial or homemade floral preservative to the water. Make your own preservative by mixing in clear sugary soda and a drop of bleach.

A bit more information:  Any flower looks good in an arrangement, but some last longer than others.  Try growing a few of these flowers to provide long-lasting added beauty in your arrangements.  Consider adding Lisianthus (Eustoma) that lasts 10 days in a vase. Other annuals to try include the taller ageratums like Blue Horizon, cockscomb, cosmos, mealycup salvia, strawflower, pansy, nicotiana, statis, petunia, snapdragon, sunflower, sweet pea and zinnia are just a few of the annuals suited for cutting. And, try using a few perennials in your arrangements as well like asters, mums, coreopsis, delphinium, coneflower, coral bells, lady’s mantle and phlox.  For a bit of foliage use artemisia, dusty miller, hosta, lamb’s ear, lavender and twigs of euonymus and evergreens.