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Posts Tagged ‘Fresh Cut’

Fresh Cut Flower Preservative Packets

Monday, September 6th, 2010

When a flower is cut from the plant, photosynthesis is no longer an option for the production of sugar. The sugar is needed to continue development of the flower bud into a flower. With this sugar, the flower will perform better in terms of size, color and vase life. While cut flowers will not photosynthesize, they will transpire. That is, water still is taken up by the stems and released into the air through the stomata. A turgid flower is a hydrated flower. A wilted flower is one where the cells do not have their full amount of water. The water in the vase or container can quickly become a bacteria soup. All it takes is a few stray pieces of plant tissue and some latent bacteria. Add some sugar from the preservative and you’ve got a recipe for cloudy, smelly water. The problem is not just an aesthetic one. Bacteria in the water will form plugs in the stem of the flower, blocking the water from flowing through the stem of the flower. A good floral preservative contains an antibacterial agent to stop all of this from happening.

Most packets are 5 gram packets which make one pint of solution. Most average vases hold at least one quart of water. If you do not follow the instructions for mixing the vase solution, and end up making a solution that is too weak, you may be providing enough sugar to grow bacteria while not providing enough antibacterial agents to stop the growth. This is a case where clear water with no preservative would be better than an improperly mixed solution. As soon as you notice that the water in your vase has started to become cloudy, it’s time to dump the water, rinse the stems, give them a clean cut and put them back in the cleaned vase with fresh water. This alone will double the life of your flowers.

Unfortunately, some flower distributors believe that the consumer’s initial perception is all that matters. They believe that the most important factor when choosing a preservative packet to distribute with their flowers is the price. They will not spend the extra three to five cents to provide the 10gram packet that should be provided. Instead, they believe that the consumer will be satisfied with any packet because they do not know any better. That shortsighted view means that consumer’s overall perception of flowers is that they do not last as long as they should, and the water gets dirty and smelly very quickly. In the long-run, these consumers may turn to alternate gift ideas other than flowers, and this hurts the floral industry as a whole.

Ways To Take Care Of Fresh Cut Flowers

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Fresh flowers can brighten any room and are quickly becoming a feature in interior design. Fresh cut flowers are those commonly found at your nearest florist. They come in a variety of colors and choices and you have the option to choose any variety of flowers of any color to make your own bouquet. As beautiful as fresh cut flowers are, it is quite unfortunate they do not last long. This article will show some ways to take care of fresh cut flowers:

You must remove the flowers from the packaging, hold the stems underwater, and cut the stem at a 45-degree angle using a sharp knife. Cutting the flower at this angle allows the stem to have a greater surface area for water consumption. Do not use scissors to cut the stems and do not crush the stems either; this will damage the tips and block the flower’s water intake. Prepare the vase and the water. Kill any bacteria or algae that formed in the vase by cleaning the inside with bleach. If your florist does not include preservatives with the flower delivery, fill the vase with lukewarm water and add a floral preservative. You can either buy preservatives from your florist or make on your own. To make your own preservatives, mix lemon with a very small amount of bleach, or a teaspoon of sugar with a few drops of bleach. Take note that using homemade concoctions might not be as effective as professional cut flower food because they don’t contain the complex mixture of preservatives and nutrients flowers need to survive.

Before putting the flowers in the vase, remove all the leaves that might be submerged in the water. Leaves have the tendency to decay when submerged underwater and when these leaves rot, they poison the water and shorten the vase life of your flowers. Arrange the flowers in any way you desire, but make sure you do not overcrowd the vase. If the bouquet is too large or the arrangement seems too tight, divide them into two and place them in separate vases. Once you’re satisfied with your floral arrangement, keep the vase in a cool spot away from direct sunlight to avoid rapid respiration. Respiration is the process wherein living organisms age. It is helpful to note that flowers generally have a higher respiration rate than most agricultural crop. The lower the temperature of the room they are placed in, the longer the flowers will last. However, if the flowers are subjected to temperatures below four degrees, their internal cells can get easily damaged and dry out the flowers. If you want your bouquet to decorate an air-conditioned room, make sure the temperature is not too cold.

Take care of your flowers every day and remove wilted flowers so they do not contaminate the rest. It is recommended that you change the water daily but if you are too busy to do so, replacing the water every two or three days is fine. Make sure you add the preservative each time you change the water. You can also re-cut the stem for improved water absorption. Fresh cut flowers will bring spring right into your home. Taking care of cut flowers is not very difficult as long as you take the steps mentioned above. It does not take much time but you will feel the benefits for many days to come.