As the warm embrace of late summer envelops us, the allure of freshly cut garden flowers lures us indoors. Whether it’s vibrant zinnias, airy cosmos, dazzling sunflowers or elegant snapdragons, we all yearn to make their beauty last longer once they grace our vases. Rooted Farmstead invites you to discover these general tips that can help you get the best vase life from any cut flower, infusing your living spaces with the magic of nature.

Timing is everything

• Harvest at the right stage: For optimal flower life, cut the flowers when they are fully developed but not yet fully mature. Flowers that are too young may not fully open, while flowers that are too mature may wilt quickly.

• Choose wisely: Choose flowers with strong stems and flawless, vibrant petals. Avoid flowers that show signs of damage or wilting at harvest time.

ª Use sharp tools: Always use sharp, clean shears or pruning shears to make a clean cut. Dull blades can crush the stems, hindering water absorption.

• The importance of angle: Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle to create a new surface to better absorb water.

• Immediate Placement: Immediately after cutting, place the flowers in a bucket of lukewarm water to moisten them. Let them rest for a few hours to rehydrate before arranging them in a vase.

• Remove leaves: Remove any leaves that may be submerged in water to prevent bacterial growth and keep the water clean.

Vase and water maintenance

• Pure vase: Use a clean vase and fill it with fresh, lukewarm water. If available, add a floral preservative to the water to nourish the flowers.

• Deep watering: Make sure the vase is filled with enough water to submerge at least half the length of the stem. Check the water level daily and refill as needed.

• Change the water: Change the water every day or two and re-cut the stems. This helps eliminate bacteria and allows the flowers to absorb fresh nutrients.

Perfect placement

• Avoid direct sunlight: While flowers need light, direct sunlight can speed up wilting. Place the vase in a location with bright, indirect light for long-lasting freshness.

• Keep away from drafts: Keep flowers away from vents, fans or open windows, as drafts can cause drying out and shorten the life of the vase.

• COOL AND COMFORTABLE: Maintain a comfortable room temperature (about 65-72 degrees F) so flowers will bloom longer.

Regular trimming

• Spent plum blossoms: Remove any flowers that have begun to wilt to prevent the production of ethylene gas, which can accelerate the aging of other flowers.

• Trim the stems: Every few days, trim the stems about an inch from the bottom at a 45-degree angle. This helps maintain water absorption capacity.

With these timeless tips, you can be sure that your favorite flowers – zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers or snapdragons – from your home garden or from a flower farm we’ve hand-picked will grace your vases with lasting beauty.

Christy Holloway is the owner of Rooted Farmstead, a flower farm and agritourism destination in Bellefonte.

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