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The power of flower food

How to keep cut flowers fresh

Have you ever wondered whether you actually need to use that little packet of flower food stuff that comes with a bouquet of freshly cut flowers?

The short answer is — yes. That small package of crystals has the power to help your cut flowers stay fresh for longer, keep the water in the vase cleaner, and provide a bit of nourishment for your flowers, too.

Go ahead and press play on the video below to learn about the power of flower food. Shannon from Euclid Farms walks us through her process, and shares with us just why it’s so important to add flower food to every vase of freshly cut flowers.

What is flower food?

Flower food is composed of three ingredients: sugar, acid (generally citric acid) and bleach. In order of appearance, the sugar feeds the flowers, the acid is included to maintain an appropriate pH level in the vase’s water, and the bleach helps to mitigate the sugar’s potential to create a build up of bacteria.

What does flower food do for cut flowers?

Flower food’s most important job is to keep the water in the vase as clean as possible. It does this by preventing bacteria growth. The small amount of bleach in flower food acts like a cleaning agent and a bacteria killer.

When bacterial growth is thwarted (by the bleach), the bottoms of the stems aren’t as vulnerable to becoming blocked by microorganism buildup. When stems remain open, they can continue to draw water up from the cut end.

Flower food also helps keep the water in the vase from getting cloudy. It also prevents unpleasant odours from developing after you’ve had your bouquet for a few days.

Four tips to keep cut flowers fresh

  • When cutting the stems of your flowers, trim them at a 45˚ angle under running water to help encourage water uptake.
  • Remove any foliage that will lie below the water line (no need to give bacteria any extra places to grow).
  • To help flowers last longer, change the vase water and clean the vase. Every couple of days, take the flowers out of their vase and empty out the old water. Wash and dry the vase. Refill with fresh water and fresh flower food (you can even make homemade flower food — try this DIY recipe). Re-trim the stems before returning the bouquet to the vase.
  • Keep your arrangement away from direct sunlight. Bright sun can cause cut flowers to dry out and wilt — even a couple of hours of full sun can do damage to the blooms.

Take a few minutes to watch the video for a flower power bonus. Shannon shares a great pro tip about using warm water to encourage blooms to open more quickly (it’s a good one).

yellow petaled flower by elias sorey unsplash

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