The most beautiful cut flowers for the bouquet grow in your own garden! Here we give you seven tips and tricks to make the blossoms last longer – so you will enjoy your bouquet for a long time.
Whether in the living room or on the patio table: a bouquet puts you in a good mood – and doesn’t necessarily have to be from a florist! Many flowers from your own garden are also very suitable as cut flowers. But regardless of whether the bouquet comes from a professional or is homemade – it should be durable in both cases. With these seven tricks, your bouquet will stay fresh for as long as possible.
1. The right time to cut
If you cut your own bouquet in the garden, you should note that every cut means stress for the plant and also for the cut flowers. It can cause the flowers to wither if you don’t take care of them right away. To reduce the stress factor, you should choose a time of day when the flowers are still as vital as possible. This is the case in the early morning because, at this time heat, sun rays, and wind do not weaken the plants as much. An evening cut is recommended if the day wasn’t too hot and dry. During the day you should only cut when the sky is overcast and the temperatures are cooler.
If you can only cut your flowers during the day for reasons of time, we recommend placing a bucket of water in a shady spot in your garden and placing the cut flowers in the bucket immediately. You should definitely avoid the hot lunchtime!
Some flowering trees such as hydrangeas are also suitable as cut flowers
2. Put the flowers in a cool place
Of course, you can arrange the cut flowers in a vase immediately after cutting. However, it is better to cool the flowers in the dark for a few hours or even overnight. A garage or a cool shed is particularly suitable for this. The flowers should stand in water up to their necks.
But be careful: do not place your bouquet near fruit or vegetables – neither before nor after arranging. Fruits and vegetables produce a ripening gas called ethylene, which causes the cut flowers to wither more quickly. Some plants react weaker, others more strongly to ethylene so that choosing the right location for the flower vase can mean a significantly longer shelf life for the flowers.
3. Remove the lower leaves
Sick and damaged leaves of the cut flowers are cut off immediately after the harvest. Then all leaves are removed that would later be in the water. Otherwise, they could release substances into the water that would promote rot and negatively affect the shelf life. In general, remove all of the leaves in the lower third of the flower stem. To reduce water loss through evaporation, some leaves should also be cut off in the upper area of the stem – so the water can mainly be used to supply the petals. Flowers that are more likely to have a few more leaves removed include roses and chrysanthemums, as well as large-leaved species such as lilacs, hydrangeas, and sunflowers.
Use a sharp knife to cut bouquets
4. Use a sharp knife
When the flowers are cut, the flow of water and thus the supply of flowers and leaves is interrupted. In addition, when transporting without water, the cut surface at the end of the flower stem dries up quickly. You often hear that you should cut the stem ends at an angle before arranging so that the plants can absorb more water. However, experts think that this does not help, as the number of cut lines does not change. It is much more important to work with a knife that is as sharp as possible and to put the cut flowers in the water immediately after harvesting. This prevents air from entering the cut vessels.
5. Lukewarm water is better than cold
Lukewarm water is most easily absorbed by cut flowers. Clean, stale rainwater or stale water from the kettle is particularly suitable as it contains only a few minerals that could interfere with water absorption. On the other hand, avoid cold water from the tap. If you arranged your bouquet immediately after harvesting, check the water level in the vase several times. In the first hours after cutting, the flowers are particularly thirsty.
Elegant bouquet with lilies
6. Change the water regularly
To improve the water absorption, you should renew the flower water as daily as possible and cut the flower stems again. This is because germs form very quickly in the water and clog the conduction pathways. Cut the stem with a sharp knife at a shallow angle and split it about 2.5 centimeters deep.
By the way: in the past, it was advised to knock thick, woody stems of roses and lilacs flat with a hammer before putting them in the vase. But that doesn’t help – on the contrary: the frayed stem base only interferes with the absorption of water.
7. Use freshness-retaining agents
When you buy your cut flowers from a florist, you usually get a freshness-keeping agent. But also bouquets from your own garden can be made life easier with a little freshness-retaining agent. Various fresh food products are available from specialist retailers as granules or in liquid form. Our recommendation: take the liquid variant, as it can be more easily absorbed by the flowers. Fresh keeping agents consist of sugar and antibacterial substances that are supposed to prevent bacteria from spreading in the water. If used correctly, there is no need to change the water every day. A standard pack is sufficient for half a liter of water.
Practice video: Tie a bouquet yourself
Would you like to tie your bouquet? We’ll show you how it’s done in the video.