Many people enjoy having fresh cut flowers in their home or available to bring to friends, and growing your own flowers just for the purpose of cutting is very rewarding! The following tips should help you get the most enjoyment out of your cutting garden.
1) If you are growing certain flowers just for cutting, try and grow them in an out of the way spot. That way, if you go in and cut a huge bouquet, there won’t be a noticeable hole in your border.
2) For longest lasting results, try to cut flowers early in the morning when the temperature is still cool.
3) Stems should be cut diagonally, and recut every few days. Changing the water everyday can help your bouquet last from 5-10 days longer!
4) There is a wide variety of “home solutions” to increase the life of your bouquet. Everything from dropping a penny in the water to adding sugar…and none of them work! Most of them are actually harmful. A teaspoon of Listerine or scope in the water is about the only thing that does help because it is strongly anti-bacterial!
5) Remove any leaves from the stems that are going to be underwater.
6) Use a strong, very sharp knife to cut flowers rather then scissors. (Scissors can crush and bruise the stem, making their vase life much shorter.)
7) Keep vases of many different sizes! Lily of the valley or pansies only work for small vases. What works for carnations or roses will probably not support something large like sunflowers or peonies!
8) Some flowers, such as delphiniums, have hollow stems. You can make them last longer by filling the stems with water and plugging the end with a wad of cotton.
9) Some flowers, such as poppies, will bleed a white milky latex when they are cut. This can foul the water and make the bouquet wilt sooner. You can seal the cut ends and prevent this by searing them with a match or dipping the cut ends in boiling water for a few seconds.
10) Be careful with heavily scented flowers such as lilacs. What might smell lovely outside might be overpowering in the house, so don’t overdo it the first time you cut!
11) Some flowers, such as lilies, will drop pollen that can stain clothing and furniture. Simply remove the pollen before bringing them indoors. This actually makes the flowers last longer and no more stains!