A little extra time and care can give youra longer lease of life. Ideally, you should take precautionary measures before giving the their long drink but, if this is not possible, make sure you do so before them.
Any Brassicas (the Cabbage family), Wallflowers and Stocks.growing down which will be below water level should be stripped off. They take up space in the or vase, and also make the water discoloured and smelly. This is true of most garden flowers, particularly
Hard woody stems Plants like, , and most have hard woody stems. These should be hammered or split about half an inch up the .
Stems which bleed
The stems of flowers such as Poppies,and Euphorbia (Spurge) which bleed or exude a white juice, benefit from being put for 10 to 30 seconds into two inches of boiling water. This treatment disperses the juice and helps them to drink. Protect the flower heads from the steam by wrapping them in a dishcloth. And if the stem ends look unhappy after this treatment do not worry and, above all, do not trim them off.
, , and similar flowers exude a sticky substance. Hold the stem ends under warm running water to remove this, as it makes it difficult for them to drink.
Always arrange flowers in tepid water. If you put a small piece of charcoal in the bottom of the, the water will remain pure. Most flowers, with the exception of those such as Daffodils and Narcissi which exude a sticky substance, will last longer if you add sugar to the water (two teaspoons to one pint). Few flowers have a definite preference for a particular depth of water, but it is worth remembering those that do. Hellebore, for example, last better if they are arranged in deep water or floated in a bowl; Daffodils and Narcissi can last a very long time in a little water as long as they do not go dry; and Holly is best if it is not in water – leave it dry or arrange it in a plastic foam.