Growing beautiful flowers in the garden has become a very popular activity. This is because people like using their home grown flowers in flower arrangements and bouquets to either decorate their homes or give as gifts. Even though cutting flowers may seem like a simple task, here are some top tips on cutting to help your flowers last as long as possible.
When to cut?
The best time to collect cut flowers is early in the morning. This is because this is usually the coolest part of the day and also when their stems are filled with water. Picking in warm and sunny conditions means the plants will be water-stressed.
The best stage to cut a flower is when it is just starting to show colour. Many people cut them in full bloom but cutting them at this stage means the flower will not last as long in the vase. However, if flowers are cut too early then they may not fully develop. For example a rose will not fully develop if in tight bud when cut.
For annual flowers, such as sweet peas, the more regularly they are cut, the longer they will bloom for. For slower growing shrubs, it is best to cut infrequently to avoid stressing the plant, which could lead to less flowers the following season.
Best way to cut
Stems should always be cut at an angle to help them take up the water freely. As soon as they are cut then they should be placed into a bucket of water. All the leaves that will sit below the water level should be removed to prevent any rotting in the water. It is then best to leave the flowers in a cool place for a few hours. This will allow the flowers to drink before being brought into a warmer environment. This conditioning will prolong their life.
The flowers can then be used to create a stunning arrangement. Once in the vase just ensure the flowers are watered regularly. It is advisable to change the water and re-cut the stems every 2 to 4 days.