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Cut your flowers during the coolest part of the day. Select firm-stemmed blooms that are just ready to open. Hold the knotted end of your string below the bloom of the first flower you cut. Make the cut an inch or two below the bottom of the length of string. You can continue using the string as a measure or just be sure to cut the rest of your flowers at approximately the same length or longer.
Strip any leaves that would lie below the water line of your vase. To keep each flower from immediately sealing its wound, plunge the stem into your bowl or bucket and cut about one inch from the stem while holding it in the lukewarm water.
Arrangement and Care of Cut Flowers
Once inside, begin transferring your flowers from bowl to vase with foliage and filler flowers. Start at the rim of the vase and work towards the middle. If not using floral foam, crisscross the stems to form a grid that holds flowers in place.
Add water daily or change the water completely if it becomes cloudy. In any event, do change the water every other day, re-cutting the stems of your bouquet and continuing to strip leaves that fall below the water line.
Cut Flower Tips:
- Rose thorns and leaves also help your roses absorb water. To dethorn roses properly, use a sharp floral or paring knife and gently scrape the stem of the rose in a downward motion. If cut roses are your favorite, consider purchasing a pair of leather gloves, specially made for dethorning. When roses begin to fade, removal of one or two outer petals helps keep your bouquet attractive.
- Removing the stamens keeps fallen pollen from staining furniture and fabric as well as increasing the life of your bouquet. Removing faded blooms allows smaller blossoms to open.
- A penny or two in the bottom of the vase helps tulips stay erect. Many varieties of tulip blooms close in the evening. Part of the fun of cut tulips is watching them open in the morning.
- Snapping off their tops helps open up lower blossoms - removing faded lower blossoms helps those higher up open!
- "Top heavy" blooms
- Insert a 26-gauge wire under the blooms of gerbera daisies, sunflowers, dinner plate dahlias, and other top-heavy blooms. Wrap the wire gently two to three times down the length of the stem.