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Loveliest of lovely things are they,
On earth, that soonest pass away.
The rose that lives its little hour
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.

                      - William Cullen Bryant

Everyone loves to get fresh flowers; they are so beautiful!
A good florist will always include some written details on how to make your flowers last. Here are a few basic guidelines that will ensure your flowers maintain their freshness and frangrance for longer.

1. Snip off the base of the stem
If you've received cut flowers you'll need to re-cut the stems before you put them in the vase to make sure their vascular cells are wide open to take up water. Under running water, make a fresh cut on the stems with some small pruning shears. You may not want to use scissors because they can crush the stems. The stems should be snipped at least 2cm at an angle from the base.

2. Change the water
Still water can build up bacteria that blocks the flow of water. Fresh, pure water every few days can prolong the life span of your flowers for up to a week.
Most standing flower arrangements sent through Phoolwala.com will have been made in a water retaining foam or a terracotta pot. This will need topping up every couple of days. Simply dribble water into the centre of the design or at the back into the foam.

3. Add preservatives
Flowers are living plant material and therefore need to be fed. Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a quart of water, and use that in your vase. You could also crush an aspirin in the water or pour some lemon-lime soda in there.
A dash of sugar and bleach can do wonders. The bleach stops algal growth and sugar provides energy to the flowers so they can continue to develop. This helps them to last long enough for buds to fully open and for the vase life of the flowers to be extended. Go easy on the bleach, though ! Just a small pinch should suffice.

4. Keep flowers away from sun and heat
The hotter flowers get, the faster they release water. This is called transpiration. In hot Indian conditions, their life is significantly reduced when you put them near a window or close to any source of heat.

5. Flowers and fruit don’t mix
Fruit gives off a gas called ethylene. This gas speeds up the life of any produce around it. Flowers can rapidly deteriorate when around fruit.

6. Remove leaves below waterline
Strip away any leaves that will fall below your water line, because those leaves will rot and poison your flowers. Make sure your vase is nice and clean. Any bacteria left from your last arrangement could damage the flowers too.

Just follow these simple steps and your flowers will stay fresh and fragrant for a long time.

 


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