Documents: Gardening From: Gardening From Southern California:

How to keep your California Grown Flowers Fresher, Longer!
by California Cut Flowers
November 21, 2010

Petal Picks- When selecting loose flowers from a florist or flower market, look for flowers with upright, firm petals and buds beginning to open. Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are signs of age. Here are few other flower selecting tips:

Nose Knows - Smell the water…it should smell fresh and clean.

Stem Slime - Additionally, look at the stems, they should be clean and not slimy.

Don’t Take a Break - Forego any flowers that may have breakage in the stems.

Blooming Beginnings - Extra care of fresh cut flowers can prolong the enjoyment period. Following are some tips to help get fresh cut flower arrangements off to a good start:

Cool Off - While preparing to put the flowers in a vase, store the blooms in a cool place.

Keep it Clean - Vases, floral clippers and knives should be clean. How clean the tools and container are can truly affect the presentation and life of the flowers. Wash the tools and selected flower container with a detergent or antibacterial cleaning solution.

Food for Thought - Commercial flower food solution is a must. Follow the mixing instructions on the flower food packet. Most packets should be mixed with either a pint or a quart of water. Flower foods should not be diluted with more water than is specified.

Leaf ‘Em Out - If the leaves on the stems will fall below the water line, remove. Leaves in water will promote bacterial microbial growth that may limit water uptake by the flower.

Under the Knife - Re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife while under running warm water. Place the flowers in the vase solution you’ve prepared.

Climate Control - Keep fresh flowers out of direct sunlight and away from drafts (like air vents, heater vents, or fans).

Text and Photo from the California Cut Flower Commission

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