Staying Alive: 5 Tips - Spring flowers & how not to kill them
February 20, 2017
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man: no time to talk
Ok ok I'll stop with the word play, here are the tricks of the trade...
Whether it's a bunch of tulips you've picked up in a rush or a big chunky bouquet youve been given, Spring blooms can be a bit of a struggle to keep alive. Here are my 5 tips to increase the life of your flowers, to get better value for money and enjoy them for longer.
Tip ONE. Cut, Refresh, Repeat
Ok so this is really obvious and one most people are aware of but it really is SO important. When you get your flowers home, fill up your vase and cut 1 or 2 cm off the end and pop them in the water*. It doesn't matter if this is at an angle or you use a sharp knife/scissors - just cut them. If you don't do this, the stems won't drink the water and the flowers will die quicker - it makes such a difference. In a similar way, change the water and re-cut the stems when the flowers start to droop so they can have a fresh drink. Stagnant water will develop bacteria (if you've ever left a vase for too long you'll know - it seriously stinks) so rinse and re fill it.
*The only exception to this rule is if you have hyacinths that are still attached to the bulb. In this case, rinse off any muddy bits and keep the bulb whole - this is what will feed the flower and keep them alive.
Tip TWO. Location, Location, Location
Firstly you need to call Kirsty and Phil. Then... ok this isn't essential but where you put your flowers is. It seems basic but don't put them next to a radiator or a fire or anything really hot - they'll die. Same goes for bright sun (a rare sighting in the UK Spring); if the sun is beating down on your flowers in the window, they'll die quicker. Some plants love full sun, most cut flowers don't, especially Spring blooms that naturally pop up in chillier conditions. Light yes, heat no...as a general rule. This is why florists spend their lives in sexy thermals- flowers don't like heat.
Spring flowers keeping their cool at New Covent Garden Market
Tip THREE. Flowers Grow
In the ground yeah I know - thanks Emma, that's really fascinating. Seems irrelevant to flowers in a vase surely? But in fact, several of our much loved Spring varieties continue to grow in water. These are namely, tulips, anemone and hyacinths. Ever wondered why your vase arrangement looks all wonky after a few days when you so carefully arranged each stem? It's because the flowers (or at least some of them) have grown. They tend to grow towards the light so a great tip to keep an even look is to flip your vase around (once you've re cut and refreshed) so the flowers are pointing away from the light. They'll soon even out and be straight again (if that's what you're into).
Beautiful Spring Ranunculus
Tip FOUR. Rinse your daffodils
I love daffs. They're so cheerful and seriously cheap. There are loads of more intricate varieties too including beautifully scented narcissi which are part of the same family. If you've ever followed advice and cut your daffs before putting them in water then you might have noticed a sticky sap comes out of the stems. The tip here is to rinse this sap away before putting them into water. Run them under cold water for 30 seconds or so until the sap has stopped and place into water. The sap actually makes the flowers die quicker so this is a fab tip. Another bit of advice is to keep your daffodils in shallower water than you normally would, honestly I'm not sure exactly why this works but it does.
Tip FIVE. Buy Fresh
The final tip for keeping your Spring flowers going is to buy fresh. Obviously flowers look their best when they're in full bloom; tulips are a brighter colour, hyacinths smell more floral and anemones are stunning when they are open but I urge you to buy these beautiful blooms when they are closed. Closed means fresh and fresh means they will last a lot longer when you get them home or give them as a gift. So next time you see a beautiful bouquet of Spring flowers, go for the bunch that looks not quite as bright and full as the one you have your eye on...it'll turn into something even more beautiful.
Hope these tips help you enjoy some of this season's offerings for that little bit longer