Part of what makes a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers so special is knowing that they won’t be around forever, so you should cherish them in the moment, or some crap like that. Because when you think about it, you’re essentially putting a bunch of flower corpses (or amputees) in a vase and keeping them around until they look and/or smell like they’re rotting.
There are plenty of tricks out there to help you squeeze as much life out of your blooms as possible, and here’s one more: Keeping the vase of fresh flowers somewhere other than directly next to some fresh fruit. This tip comes courtesy of an article by Emma Loewe in mindbodygreen. Here’s what to know.
Keep fresh flowers away from your fruit
In her article, Loewe spoke with Dr. Caren Chang, a professor at the University of Maryland whose work focuses on ethylene, a plant hormone. According to Chang, plants like fruits and flowers see their ethylene levels increase as they age — in fact, it helps fruit ripen.
So while ethylene is useful when you’re waiting for a peach to ripen, it’s not great for flowers, because in this case, speeding up their ageing process means wilting leaves and petals and a shorter journey towards death and decay. For this reason, if you want to get the most out of fresh-cut flowers, it’s best to keep them somewhere other than directly next to a bowl of fruit on a table, or the bunch of bananas sitting on your counter.
Out of all the fruits, Chang says that tomatoes, apples, bananas, and pears give off more ethylene than others. From there, the gas disperses in the surrounding air, though Chang says that as it travels, it does lose some of its potency.
So it’s not as though you can’t keep fresh flowers anywhere in the kitchen — but you may want to find a place for them away from the fruit bowl.