Flowers are one of the best gifts Mother Nature has given us. So, when we bring them into our homes or are gifted a glorious floral bouquet from a loved one, we want to do everything we can to keep the blooms thriving for as long as possible. Keeping the water clean and fresh and making sure leaves do not fall below the waterline are two major ways to care for your arrangements. In addition, you may have also heard a plethora of old wives’ tales and myths that promise a long vase life for your beloved blooms. Here at The Frugal Flower, we want to set the record straight and highlight a few of these myths that you really should forget when it comes to flower care.
Common Flower Care Myths to Avoid
Myth #1Putting a Penny in the Bottom of the Vase Keeps Flowers from Wilting
Old myths you hear from your grandparents often hold some truth to them, and while some may have been helpful back in the day, the times have changed. For instance, it is true that copper is a natural fungicide and will help increase the lifespan of your flowers. What is no longer valid is that pennies are made from copper. Since 1982, the composition of pennies transitioned from copper to zinc. Even if you decide to utilize pennies that date pre-1982, you run the great risk of poisoning your flowers with germs and bacteria.
Myth #2Allergy Sufferers Can’t Enjoy Flowers
Most people who experience sneezing and running noses when around flowers are not necessarily allergic to the blooms themselves but the pollen. Some flowers, like orchids, hydrangea, pansies, peonies, and carnations, are often safe for those who suffer from allergies because they are pollinated via insects instead of the wind. Roses are another bloom that contains minimal amounts of pollen and proves to be an excellent choice for those with allergies.
Myth #3Sugar or Lemonade Can Be Used as Flower Flood for Your Cut Stems
You may be familiar with the common child’s science fair project comparing flowers watered with clean water against flowers watered with sugar water. Regardless of what your kids might tell you or report to their class, water that contains sugar, aspirin, vodka, or bleach will shorten the lifespan of your blooms and create a wealth of bacteria in your flowers’ water. The best water for flowers is fresh, clean water or water with dissolved official flower food.
Myth #4Removing a Rose’s Guard Petals Will Make it Die Quicker
Guard petals are those on the outside of the bloom and are sometimes not as pretty as the ones underneath. Guard petals on a rose are meant to protect the rest of the rose petals and are often removed to make roses in an arrangement even more beautiful than they already are. It is a big myth that removing these guard petals will result in a shorter vase life for your fresh-cut roses.
Myth #5Fresh-Cut Flowers Prefer a Sunny Location
Contrary to what we have all been taught about growing healthy flowers, once a bloom has been cut and transferred to a vase of cool water, it no longer needs to be placed in direct sunlight. Instead, fresh-cut flowers, bouquets, and arrangements should be displayed in indirect sunlight. Sitting in a sunny window will make the blooms open up quickly and actually shorten the flowers’ lifespans.
Bonus MythBananas Kill Flowers
This is surprisingly not a myth! Although fruits and veggies are healthy snacks for humans, the same does not hold true for flowers. Fruits like bananas emit ethylene gas during the ripening process. If your vase of flowers is placed too close to these fruits as they are ripening, the gas can kill your blooms. Make sure that if your bouquets and bowl of fruit share a counter, there is ample distance between them.
While some of these flower care tactics and ideas may have worked for your grandmother, your niece or nephew, or Instagram influencers, they certainly will not work every time. Instead, follow these simple flower care steps to keep your fresh-cut blooms healthy and vibrant:
- Remove any leaves and petals which fall below the waterline.
- Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle with each change of water.
- Change the water daily for the best results.
- Only use the packet of flower food from the florist.
- Keep flowers out of direct sunlight.
Visit our Flower Care Page for more details or to learn how to keep your favorite blooms from The Frugal Flower lasting for over 12 days!