There’s nothing like the sight of blossom on the trees to convince me that spring has finally sprung. After months of seeing bare branches, the froths of pink and white truly lift my heart and mood. When the buds opened this year I excitedly rushed outside with my secateurs aloft to snip off a couple of sprigs to bring inside, but, just a day later I was left with a carpet of petal confetti all over the floor and a sorry-looking arrangement in my vase.
So, I decided some research was needed and managed to uncover some useful tips for keeping cut blossom fresh for longer. These are my findings to help all my fellow blossom-lovers!
1 | Choose the type of blossom wisely
Some varieties of blossom will hold their flowers longer than others. I’ve had greatest success with keeping magnolia and apple blossom in the house for longest. Delicate blossom, like cherry, may only last a couple of days before it needs to be replaced.
2 | Cut blossom in the morning
Early spring can be surprisingly warm and flowers dehydrate as the day goes on. In the morning, plants will be full of water after a night of cool air and a sprinkling of dew. Pop the stems into a bucket of water as soon as you cut them.
3 | Use the right tools
Use sharp secateurs and cut sprigs close to the main branch at a 45 degree angle. This will give you cut stems with a clean cut and also prevent the tree from being damaged. Never use scissors (or worse, try to snap the sprig by hand) as this will crush the woody stems and prevent water intake, as well as potentially harming the tree.
4 | Condition your flowers
Blossom has woody stems which should be split 1-2 cm at the base with a sharp knife. This creates a greater surface area for water to be drawn up. Pop the stems into bucket of lukewarm water and store in a cool place for about 3 hours before arranging in a vase. Warm water molecules move faster than cold water molecules and so can be absorbed by flowers with greater ease.
5 | Create a long-lasting arrangement
Strip off any flowers or foliage that will be below the water level. Choose a vase that will support the stems but where the blossom will not be overcrowded. Blossom petals bruise very easily, so handle them carefully when arranging and touch the flowers as little as possible. Place the finished arrangement out of direct sunlight and away from draughts, to help the flowers last longer.
Do you have any top tips for keeping cut flowers fresh for longer? Perhaps you add lemonade to the water or prepare the stems in a special way – if you do, please share in the comments!