Fresh-cut flowers can be a lovely addition to your home decor, but they can also be hard to justify buying when they don’t last more than a few days before wilting.
Florists suggest a handful of best practices for caring for your blooms, such as cutting the stems at a 45-degree angle, removing extra leaves prior to arranging, and changing the water every day. Other preservation techniques are based on altering the pH using ingredients like vinegar and sugar to inhibit bacteria growth.
If you want to try something new to keep your bouquets looking fresh, there are three things you can add to your vases to extend the life of your cut flowers. Here’s what to put in your plant cocktail.
If your buds are still closed when you bring them home, putting room-temperature water in the vase will help them open. But if you want them to last longer, switch to cool water, which slows decay and the build-up of bacteria and mould. You can do this by adding ice cubes to the vase or placing the arrangement in the fridge overnight.
The copper in a penny acts as a fungicide, naturally killing bacteria and fungi that accumulate and cut the lifespan of your flowers short. The catch: the penny must have been minted prior to 1982, when production switched from 95% copper to 97.5% zinc with only a thin copper coating. Old pennies made mostly of copper are more effective, so hold onto those old coins when you find them.
The last ingredient in your flower-preserving cocktail is a splash of vodka. Alcohol may help slow wilting (so your flowers stand up straighter for longer) by preventing plants from producing ripening gases. Obviously, you shouldn’t replace all of the water with vodka — just a splash or shot will do, diluted with a vase full of cool water.
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