Preserving Cut Flowers - Knowledgebase Question

Sunnyvale, CA
Question by rochelle7
August 1, 1999
How can I make hydrangea blooms last longer after I cut them for display in a vase in my home?


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Answer from NGA
August 1, 1999

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The secret to keeping cut flowers from wilting is to give them a constant supply of water. First rule is to cut in the early morning, and take only the freshest, just barely opened flowers. If you can place cut flowers into a container of water immediately after cutting, you will keep the vascular system within the stem working in an upward direction. When you take the stems out of water, air can clog the cells and can stop the capillary action. Place the stems into a container filled with a mixture of 1 teaspoon bleach and one tablespoon of sugar stirred into one gallon of water. The acid slows bacterial growth and the sugar provides nutrients. Change the solution every three days to help prolong the blooming time.

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