Time and time again, flowers have proven to be the ultimate pick-me-up gift for people of all ages. Whether it be given as a cheerful birthday present, a romantic gesture on a lovely evening or simply as a house décor to complement the furniture, flowers are the go-to item to liven up the spirits and inspire.

That’s why we would want them to last longer than merely a couple of days. Sadly, nature has it that flowers – especially cut flowers – tend to wilt quite easily. The science behind it is that because the flower is not attached to the roots, they are not able to get enough, or any, nutrients needed to maintain its growth. Flowers can also wilt because they are losing more water than they are absorbing, an issue that frequently occurs in cut flowers.

It’s a pity to lose our freshly bought flowers to these inevitable outcomes, and so, methods are tried and tested to prevent flowers from wilting. People often ask us about different ways to preserve flowers, and here at Gift Flowers Singapore, we are more than happy to answer them.

Can you freeze flowers to make them last longer?

Yes, and no. Technically speaking, you can maintain the flowers’ structure and preserve their natural beauty by freezing them. However, this cannot be done with a regular freezer, because the cell walls will be damaged during the process and subsequent thawing of the flowers will result in a slimy mess. The idea is to remove all the moisture first using special freeze-drying equipment.

Refrigeration is another option to keep the flowers chill and make them last longer. Florists usually refrigerate flowers, and some floral delivery companies utilize refrigerated vans to maintain the blooms in tip-top condition as they are delivered to the recipients' doors.

Does vinegar help flowers last longer?

Yes, vinegar combined with a few simple ingredients from your kitchen cabinet can do absolute wonders in preserving your beautiful blooms! You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1 litre of warm water

Dissolve the sugar and white vinegar fully in the warm water. Fill the vase with the preservative, making sure that the cut stems are covered by 7 – 10 centimetres of the solution. The sugar will nourish the plant and the vinegar stops bacteria from growing at the cut area, which can potentially stop the plant from absorbing water.

 

Can you revive a dying flower?

Yes, you can! Snip away any dead leaves. Cut the stem at an angle, about 2 centimetres from the already cut end of the dying flower. Make sure that the plant is placed at an area where sunlight and humidity conditions are favourable. Dissolve three teaspoons of sugar fully in lukewarm water and fill the vase. The sugar will give your flower just the right pick-me-up.

If you’re trying to revitalise a rose-bush, the method can be a little trickier.

  1. Trimming. Trim off all the old wilted leaves and dead branches from the rose bush using pruning sheers, remembering to trim at an angle so that the plant can absorb nutrients more efficiently.
  2. Remove debris. Chuck away any dead leaves and grass that are building up around the base of the rose bush. These debris tend to block out nutrients from getting to the rose bush.
  3. Use fertiliser. Sprinkle specialised rose fertilizer around the base, taking note of how much to use. Repeat the process every week until the rose bush is nursed back to health and can be fertilised monthly to maintain its healthy state.
  4. Water well. Rose bushes need plenty of water so make sure to water it until the ground is saturated. For hotter climates, water every day. For cooler climates, water every other day.

Can you preserve a flower with hairspray?

Hairspray is not just a product for your favourite hairstyle, but it’s also a fantastic tool for preserving your flowers.

Use this method on fresh flowers that are in full bloom. The idea is to maintain their current appearance for a little longer than usual. Make sure you are standing away from the bouquet before spraying. Aim the spray at the undersides of the leaves and petals and coat them evenly to help prevent the flowers from wilting. Use a clothes hanger to hang the bouquet upside down, allowing them to dry sufficiently before putting them back into your vase.

 

How high should flowers stick out of vase?

You can generally tell by the naked eye whether a vase is suitable for the flowers or not. If the flowers tower above the rim of the vase and bends at an odd shape, it’s safe to say you need a bigger vase. If they look awkwardly short within the vase, you know you would need to find a smaller vase. But as a rule of thumb that works for arranging any kind of flowers, note that the length of the stems should be no more than two times the height of a vase.

 

How do I make my flower last longer?

ROSES

Roses come in a wide range of different colours, each symbolizing something different. Red roses often mean love, passion and romance, while a soft pink rose can indicate joy, peace and sweet love. Whatever colour your roses are, they are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful flowers to give, with its silky fluttering petals and attractive appearance.

Roses usually last about one week after being cut, but with proper care and treatment, they can last for a good while longer. They need a tall drink so you have to aware of the water level and quality all the time. Using aspirin is an old remedy used to preserve cut roses, but it has been proven time and time again to work, so is worth a shot. Crush an aspirin tablet well before dissolving it fully in lukewarm water. Pour this preservative into the vase of roses and remember to change the water, along with a new aspirin tablet, every few days to maximise the results.

If you grow roses in your garden and would like to cut and bring them into the house as home décor, make sure that they are well-watered at all times. Water them the night before they are cut so that they can soak up all the nutrients and be hydrated and fuller during the cutting process. If the weather is hot, cut them early in the morning where they are the freshest.

Buying fresh roses is the first step to maintaining their integrity. To check that the roses you are purchasing are fresh, gently squeeze the rose where the petals touch the top of the stem. If it feels nice and firm, this means the roses are fresh. If the spot feels soft and squishy, this confirms that they are old and you are advised to avoid buying them. 

TULIPS

The simple beauty, elegance and grace of tulips make them one of the most popular blossoms today. Different coloured tulips have different meanings; white is a sign of spiritual love and purity, purple a colour of leadership and royalty, and pink represents friendship.

For tulips to last longer inside the home, cut their stems diagonally to increase absorption. The container needs to support half or 2/3 of the stem. Wrap the upper two-thirds of the tulips in a funnel of newspaper or flower wrapping paper and place them in cool water for an hour or two to hydrate. Afterwards, cut the stems again. This method will ensure that the tulips last for at least a week.

HYDRANGEAS

Hydrangeas are special, unique looking flowers. They generally contain small flowers right in the centre or inside the flowerhead, and large-petaled, vibrant flowers all around. They mean different things according to different cultures, but in Asia, they are known to represent the heart and gratitude.

Hydrangeas tend to produce a sticky sap at their tips when freshly cut. When you are ready to cut them, have a container of water by your side so that you can place the flowers in the water immediately. A delay in placing them in water will allow the sticky sap to coat the end of the stem, creating a blockage and it will no longer be able to absorb water.

SUNFLOWERS

This cheerful looking flower is the ultimate representation of all things positive, evoking a sense of warmth, happiness and radiance. It symbolises loyalty and longevity, and its bright yellow colour mirrors the sun. Give sunflowers to anyone who is feeling a little under the weather to instantly lift their spirits.

There are a few tips and tricks to ensure that your little burst of sunshine lasts a little longer.

  1. Use a sharp set of clippers and cut the stems at an angle to increase absorption. Cut them early in the morning or early in the evening, ensuring that the dew has dried. If you are cutting for bouquets, choose the buds that have just started to open or flowers that are in full bloom.
  2. Put the stems into a bucket of water right away after cutting.
  3. Place them in a tall vase which supports 2/3 of the stem with clear lukewarm water. Alternatively, you could add sugar, lemon lime soda, a small amount of vodka or a teaspoon of bleach into the water to help preserve the flowers.
  4. Remember to change the water every two days.
  5. Gases and direct sunlight can cause the flowers to fade quicker, so ensure that the sunflowers are not exposed directly to the sun and are not near any fruit.