The color, fragrance, and beauty of cut flowers can brighten virtually any living space and can turn around even the dullest of moods. Among the most popular long lasting cut flowers are carnations, alstroemerias, snapdragons, daisies, and chrysanthemums.
To ensure you maximize the longevity of your cut flowers, be sure to follow a few simple steps. First, determine the proper time to cut each type of flower. While daffodils should be cut just as they start to open, Daisies should only be taken after they reach full bloom. Second, cut the flower stems with a sharp, clean blade, somewhat longer than you require. As you cut the stems, remove any leaves from the lower stem and remove all diseased material. Then, without delay, place each stem in a pail of water.
Finally, before arranging your flowers, you’ll need to condition them, preferably overnight. Prepare a bucket of warm water, ideally about 100 or 110 degrees. For best results, add a floral preservative to the water at the strength recommended on the container. Now, holding each stem under the water, remove several inches from the stem bottom, cutting at a severe angle. Use a sharp knife or pair of shears to do this. Leave the flowers overnight, if possible. Your blooms can then be arranged and set out in vases filled with distilled water or rainwater.
Cut Flower Varieties
Among the many varieties of long lasting cut flowers, daisies (genus Gerbera) are exceptional. Properly cut and conditioned they can last for more than 10 days. Their long stems have a tendency to droop over time and may require some support.
Carnations (genus Dianthus) can last up to weeks as a bright, beautiful cut flower. Take your flowers just after the bloom has opened.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum Majus) are wonderful in all kinds of cut flower arrangements. For best results, cut flowering stems just after five to seven of the florets have opened. If cut too early, the bloom color will not fully deepen and the florets will remain small.
Peruvian lily (genus Alstroemeria) produces fantastic, brightly colored blooms that commonly last for two weeks in cut flower arrangements. Make your cuts only after the first three flowers have opened.