Flowers can stay fresh for days when placed in water. Changing the water and cutting part of the stems will keep them fresh longer. This method is fine if you have the time to do this every other day but it can turn into a tedious chore if you have plenty of fresh flowers displayed in your home. Air, humidity and heat can hasten the evaporation of water. Flower food will allow you to enjoy the blooms far longer than expected. There are commercially prepared flower food mixes that you can get from the florist supply store that should be mixed properly. It is also possible for you to mix your own flower food with ingredients that you have in your pantry. Below are some ideas on how to make plant food.
- Recipe 1. Mix together two cups of warm water, two cups of lemon-lime carbonated drink, and one-half teaspoon household bleach. Stir the solution and pour into the vase before arranging your cut flowers.
- Recipe 2. In one quart of warm water add two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, one tablespoon of granulated sugar and one half teaspoon of household bleach. Stir the solution until the sugar is completely dissolved. Soak your floral foam in this solution before making your flower arrangement. The sugar will supply the energy needed by the flowers. The acid will correct the PH level of the water and the bleach will prevent the microbial growth. Warm water travels more quickly through the flower stems than cold water.
- Recipe 3. Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar, two tablespoons of granulated sugar and one half teaspoon of household chlorine bleach in one quart of warm water. The water should be one hundred to one hundred ten degrees Fahrenheit.
- Recipe 4. If you have flowering plants they can also benefit from a regular dose of flower food. You can mix one tablespoon Epsom salt, one teaspoon table salt, one half teaspoon ammonia and one teaspoon baking powder in one gallon of warm water. Stir until the dry ingredients are completely melted and water your flowering plants. Store the rest in a dark and cool location.
- Recipe 5. For a large vase of cut flowers, mix one quart of warm water together with two teaspoons of granulated sugar, one half teaspoon of chlorine bleach and one-fourth teaspoon of alum. Stir the mixture until all the dry ingredients are dissolved in the liquid and transfer the solution to a clean vase.
While plant food will keep your flowers fresh longer, there are still things that you can do to augment this. You can soak the floral foams that you will use for flower arrangements in the flower food. You should also remove most of the leaves from the stems to prevent rapid dehydration. Cut the stems at an angle so that there will be more surface for the plant food to be taken up the stems. Immerse the stems of flowers with sap in boiling water for thirty seconds to remove the sap that will prevent the stems from taking up water. You can also pass the stem across flame for a few seconds to get the same effect as immersing the stem in boiling water.