American Chemistry Society is making sure we'll all be ready for Mothers' Day by giving us the best tips on how to make cut flowers last very long.
"Flowers are not meant to last. However, thanks to chemistry, you can help keep them alive just a little bit longer," the team began in the video.
One of the first steps is to wash the vase with water and soap, scrubbing every nook and cranny. This combination of soap and water will act as a disinfectant, eliminating microorganisms that can eat your flowers.
Further, while flowers need water, it's best if the vase is drained and refilled with clean water every day. Note, however, that for best results, you need more than "regular water."
Reactions suggests not only warm water of about 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) but a degassed one, which means trapped air in the water is allowed to escape. Fortunately, the process itself is not complicated as it only requires leaving the vase with the water and without the flowers alone for a few minutes.
Water that's best for flowers may also be slightly acidic with a pH level of 3.5 to 5 and with very few dissolved solids and fluoride.
Flower food, which you can get from your florist, is also necessary. Its combination of glucose (sugar) to provide energy, bleach to act as disinfectant, and citric acid, the same acid found in lemon, serve to maintain the water's acidic quality.
When it's time to cut the stem, Reactions recommends doing so in a 45-degree angle to minimize the buildup of air bubbles that can block the xylem and prevent the water from rising. Resist the urge to cut the leaves as well since photosynthesis, a process wherein plants convert sunlight to energy, occurs.
Where you place the flowers also matters. As much as possible, keep them away from fruits because, as soon as fruits begin to rot, they produce ethylene, which speeds up wilting of the flowers. Moreover, just in case you're going out of the house for a day, place the flowers inside the fridge to delay metabolism and thus aging, and reduce growth of microbes and bacteria.
"To keep the flowers fresh, you've got to fight the flower's normal aging or dying processes," said the team.
Hopefully, with the tips above, you get to do just that.
Watch the 3-minute video below:
Photo: Kate Ter Haar | Flickr