What keeps flowers lasting the longest?


In our unscientific test, we purchased four dozen red roses from the same grocery store from the same flower bin. We kept the flowers for seven days to see if variables made a difference in how long they would last.

For another set of flowers all we did was change the water every few days. We didn't add anything to the vase other than water.

In one vase, we added the plant food that the store provided. We changed the water every few days and added a fresh packet of plant food each time.

The Farmer's Almanac recommended using vinegar and sugar for our next dozen. We put the flowers in warm water and added one tablespoon of vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

For the last bouquet we tested a myth we found online. It said to add an aspirin to the water to help kill bacteria and help the flowers last longer.

After seven days, there was a noticeable difference.

The dozen roses that we dropped an aspirin in were slightly wilted, but the leaves were severely dried out.

The sugar and vinegar concoction kept the flowers in good shape with only a little wilting.

The flowers that only received water were the worst of the bunch. They were wilted and droopy after just a week.

After a week, the best looking flowers were the ones that received plant food every few days. They looked almost as good as the day we bought them.

A florist recommends picking up extra packets of flower food while you're there and not using the packet that comes with the bouquet. It's likely that the packet with the flowers has already gotten wet and dissolved.

If you don't have access to flower food, a little lemon-lime soda and water will do the trick, as long as it's not diet.

The experts at Fannin Flowers also suggest keeping flowers in the coolest place in the house because warmer temperatures shorten the life span.

"The coolers are 40 degrees and this is cold and live for the longest time that you need them," florist Gholamsussein Saatsaz said.

If you want the flowers to start opening in full bloom, exposing them to a warmer spot could accelerate that.

"They are going to eventually open but not going to as if you put them in the coldest area," said Saatsaz.

The florist also recommends using warm water when you change it every two to three days. It's also a good idea to cut the stems at an angle when you change the water.

"They can drink better that way," said Saatsaz.

Be sure to keep any leaves or other foliage out of the water.

"It causes bacteria and makes a very bad smell that you cannot stand and even get bugs," said Saatsaz.

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