Culture Magazine

How To Make Cut Chrysanthemums Last Longer

By Simon Crowther @prestigeflower

Chrysanthemums are wonderful flowers to include in a wide variety of different flower arrangements.  They are big and bold so they are sure to stand out.  They are also available in a wide range of colours so whether they are for you or if you plan to send flowers to somebody special, you will always find something suitable.  Caring for your chrysanthemums is obviously important and you want your cut flowers to last as long as possible.  Here are just a few simple steps that you can follow in order to ensure a successful, long lasting bouquet of your favorite mums!

Step 1:

The first thing that you will want to do is choose the right chrysanthemums.  What this means is that you should buy or pick them while they are still in bud form but have at least started to open.  Tightly closed buds may never open if picked too early and fully opened flowers won’t last as long.  If you are picking from your own garden and you notice a number of fully or mostly open chrysanthemums, it would be best to leave them on the plant as they will last longer out there than cut.

Chrysanthemums

Step 2:

As soon as you cut or receive your chrysanthemums, you must get them into warm water.  If you are picking them yourself and you don’t want to rush, take a bucket of water out with you.

Step 3:

Prepare your vase while your flowers soak up the clean warm water.  Take your time and make sure the vase is clean and contains just a few inches of warm water.  Add some flower preserve to the vase water and allow it to dissolve completely.

Step 4:

Using a very sharp pair of scissors, sheers or knife, cut a couple of inches off the bottom of the stems.  There are a few things you need to remember when doing this.  Firstly, cutting the stems under water will help prevent air from entering the stems.  If air does enter the stem, it will form bubbles that will slow down water and nutrient absorption.  Ultimately, this will shorten the life of your cut flowers.  Secondly, remember to cut at an angle to increase the absorption surface and so that the stems do not lay flat on the bottom of the vase.  If stems fall straight to the bottom and flat against the base, this will also obstruct absorption.  Thirdly, always use a sharp instrument to cut with or you may end up crushing or damaging the stem.  Some people insist on splitting the stems of chrysanthemums with the theory that it helps them last longer.  You are welcome to give this a try but, again, do so with extreme care.

Step 5:

Remove any leaves that may end up under the water.  For those who don’t know why this is so important, it’s because bacteria grows in the water no matter what you do.  It is simply the rate of bacterial growth that you can somewhat control by using the correct products and methods.  Bacteria in the vase water will grow and attach itself to any plant material below the water surface.  So, the less you have down there, the better.

Step 6:

The final step is display and care.  Place the chrysanthemums on display in an area that is not affected by drafts.  Keep the flowers out of any direct sunlight and away from air conditioners, heaters and fire places.  Top up and replace the water as needed.  When replacing the water add some more flower food and check if the stems need to be re-cut.  If they appear slippery with a kind of thin film over them, it’s time for a trim since this is a build up of bacteria.  Remove any dead or dying flowers as soon as you notice them.


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