GAINESVILLE, Fla. — So you have received a bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s Day and want to keep them alive as long as possible. An expert with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is here to help.
“The trick is to keep the water clean of fungus and bacteria so the flowers can stay fresh longer,” said Wendy Wilber, UF/IFAS State Master Gardener Coordinator. Also, Wilber recommends:
- Once you’ve brought your flowers inside, remove any leaves or blossoms that will end up underwater. Then, cut one-half to one inch off the stems with a sharp, clean knife.
- Place the flowers in a clean vase filled with fresh water and, if you have it, flower preservatives. Do not add sugar, as it will bring bacteria and clog the stems.
- If the water turns yellow and cloudy, wash the vase with soapy water and add fresh water with flower preservatives.
- Re-cut and rinse the stems before placing them back into the container.
- Keep the flowers away from heating and air-conditioning vents, and from direct sunlight.
“Fresh flowers bring beauty and vitality into your home or office,” Wilber said. “Make the most out of the gift by keeping them fresh and beautiful for as long as possible.”
By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566, firstname.lastname@example.org