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Discover India Hicks

Discover India Hicks
Discover India Hicks

Home & Garden: FLOWER POWER

Last year my husband got a wild hair and decided he wanted to plant rose bushes. I agreed as long as he maintained them. Gardening is not my thing. But I do love coming home to an abundant bouquet of freshly cut white roses on my kitchen table. Unfortunately if I have anything to do with their lifespan, they barely see the light of day. If you too don't have a green thumb, keeping that beautiful bouquet of flowers alive may seem like a difficult task but with these simple tips and household items, you just might be able to keep them alive longer - no green thumb required.

Aspirin : It’s a tried-and-true way to keep roses and other cut flowers fresh longer: Put a crushed aspirin in the water before adding your flowers. Other household items that you can put in the water to extend the life of your flower arrangements include: a multivitamin, a teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and baking soda, and even a copper penny. Also, don’t forget to change the vase water every few days.

Bleach : Freshly cut flowers will stay fresh longer if you add 1/4 teaspoon bleach per quart (1 liter) of vase water. Another popular recipe calls for 3 drops bleach and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 quart (1 liter) water. This will also keep the water from getting cloudy and inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Coins : Your posies and other cut flowers will stay fresh longer if you add a copper penny and a cube of sugar to the vase water.

Hair Spray : Just as it preserves your hairstyle, a spritz of hair spray can preserve your cut flowers. Stand a foot away from the bouquet and give them a quick spray, just on the undersides of the leaves and petals.

Soda : Don’t throw away those last drops of soda. Pour about 1/4 cup into the water in a vase full of cut flowers. The sugar in the soda will make the blossoms last longer. Note: If you have a clear vase and want the water to remain clear, use a clear soda, like Sprite or 7-Up.

Sugar : Make your own preservative to keep cut flowers fresh longer. Dissolve 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar per quart (liter) of warm water. When you fill the vase, make sure the cut stems are covered by 3-4 inches (7-10 centimeters) of the prepared water. The sugar nourishes the plants, while the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth. You’ll be surprised how long the arrangement stays fresh!

Vinegar : Everyone likes to keep cut flowers around as long as possible, and there are several good methods. One way is to mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vase water before adding the flowers. Be sure to change the water (with more vinegar and sugar, of course) every few days to enhance your flowers’ longevity.

Vodka : The secret to keeping cut flowers looking good as long as possible is to minimize the growth of bacteria in the water and to provide nourishment to replace what the flower would have gotten had it not been cut. Add a few drops of vodka (or any clear spirit) to the vase water for antibacterial action along with 1 teaspoon sugar. Change the water every other day, refreshing the vodka and sugar each time.

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