Cutting Flower Stems For Long-Lasting Results
Cutting Flower Stems The Right Way
The art of cutting flower stems is as essential to flower arranging as the flowers themselves. Knowing how to properly trim the ends of cut flowers is key to ensuring that the flowers last longer and look their best. The American Society of Horticultural Science has done research on the optimal way to trim the ends of cut flowers, and their findings are valuable for any flower arranger.
The recommended method for trimming cut flowers is to cut at a 45 degree angle, between 1/4-1/2 inch (0.5-1cm). This angle is optimal as it maximizes the surface area of the stem, allowing more water to be taken in.
This is especially important for flowers such as roses and lilies, which require more water than other flowers. The same trimming method should be used regardless of the type of flower, however, some flowers may need to be trimmed more often than others.
Cutting Flowers Stems: Tools Matter
The type of implement you use to trim the ends of the flowers is also important.
For the most part, scissors you have around the house may do just fine for most flowers. Scissors are often easy to hold and as long as they are clean and sharp, they should be easy to use and do a good job for you.
But sheers may be necessary for larger jobs. When the stems are bigger or tough, scissors may not do the job anymore.
When large plant stems are in your arrangement, sheers or a sharp knife may be necessary to get a good clean cut.
The sharpness of whatever tool you choose is going to key. Never use dull tools: dull blades will crush the stems and make it more difficult for the flowers to take in water.
Cutting Flower Stems: By Flower Type
Cutting can also affect the type of tool you should use. For example, flowers with thicker stems, such as lilies, may need to be cut with a knife or shears, as scissors may not be able to cut through the thicker stems. When using a knife or shears, it’s important to be careful not to crush or tear the stem, as this can damage the flower.
So, no matter what type of tool you use for cutting flower stems, it’s important to keep your tools clean and sharp. Dull blades can cause damage to the stems, and can also result in an uneven cut.
Keep It Clean
Additionally, it’s important to sanitize your tools before and after each use, as this can help to reduce the risk of introducing bacteria and disease to the flowers. This is especially important if you are concerned about how long your fresh flowers last. Making sure you use clean tools will ensure you don’t spread bacteria or disease that can make your fresh flowers die before their time.
Cutting Flower Stems: Tool Cleaning
The tools should be washed with soapy water and rinsed between uses to avoid introducing bacteria or other contaminants into the stems. This will help ensure that the flowers remain healthy and take in water effectively.
The same rules apply for the vase you place your flowers in. The vase should be washed with soapy water and rinsed before adding fresh water and the flowers. This is for the same reason as the tool cleaning: this will help prevent bacteria from growing in the vase and contaminating the flowers.
How Often Should You Be Cutting Flower Stems?
For those who want to make sure their flowers stay healthy, it is important to remember to trim the stems regularly. I always trim when I change the vase water (every 2-3 days).
In addition to cutting stems you also want to look at trimming dead flowers. This process is called deadheading (you can check our a prior post on that here).
Your Flowers Will Thank you for
Cut Flower Food That Keeps Flowers Energized With Caffeine To Live Longer And Bloom Bigger
Use A Fresh Flower Food That Stems Will Crave
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Flower Food For Cut Flowers With Caffeine
Why caffeine? The same way you crave your first cup of coffee each day, caffeine helps perk up your cut flowers and make them thirsty for a big gulp of water that will help keep them fresh and hydrated longer.
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