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"Ooh, flowers for me?" Caring for cut flowers

Did you get flowers for Valentine's Day?  Lucky you!  Mine are still hanging around....are yours?  If so, read on for the best way to care for cut flowers:

1) Determine how you're going to arrange the flowers, and then remove any foliage that will wind up under water.  If you don't, the submerged foliage will rot, creating a slimy science experiment in your pretty vase.  Ew.

2) Fill your vase with half lukewarm water, half lemon-lime soda (not diet!) and a teaspoon of bleach.  The soda has sugar that feeds the flowers, and the bleach kills bacteria.

3) Fill a sink or large bowl with water and submerge the stalks. Using a non-serrated knife*, cut about 1" from the stem at a 45-degree angle. This angle creates more surface area, which improves the flower’s ability to draw water.  Cutting them under water prevents air bubbles from forming.
*I normally use my kitchen scissors, which you're not technically supposed to do, as scissors can crush the cell structure of the flower, thus impeding its ability to drink water. I have to say, though, that they still seem to last a long time!

4) Immediately put the flowers into the vase, and arrange.  Repeat this process every day or two.  It only takes a few minutes and it's totally worth it!

When bringing flowers to a hostess, remember to include a container (maybe a cool, unique one?) so she doesn't have to stop what she's doing to take care of the bouquet.

photo source

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