Culture Magazine

Floral Facts and Myths

By Simon Crowther @prestigeflower

Like so many other things in life, our old beliefs are often disputed by new research. Despite this, there are also a number of myths that we still believe. Shopping for flowers years ago was very different to the flower shopping process today. Florists years ago might have also offered different advice compared to the advice they share today. We know a lot more about flowers than we did before and we know that much more about how to make the most of every bouquet.

One common belief is that homemade flower food will help fresh flowers last longer. To a certain degree, this is correct. A homemade recipe can work very well if you measure each ingredient perfectly. If they are not perfectly measured and mixed, the flower food might not be very effective and it could even do more harm than good. It's also important to make sure that you add the right amount of flower food to your vase water.

Some experts also agree that there are a few unconventional tricks you can use to make your flowers last longer. One example of this includes adding pennies to the vase water. The theory behind this trick is that the pennies release copped into the water. This is not necessarily true. Copper does not simply dissolve in the water. It remains in solid form and this means that it probably has little to no effect on your flowers. Another common "trick" is adding alcohol to the vase water. Gin and vodka are both popular choices but there is no proof that either of them work.

Some people try crushing woody stems to help promote the absorption of nutrients and water. Unfortunately, if you crush flower stems, it will have the opposite efect. Crushing the stems will make it difficult for them to absorb water and it can be easier for bacteria to make itself at home. When bacteria takes hold, it will also cause the flowers to perish sooner rather than later.

Regarding tulips, there is a common misconception that storing them in buckets in the dark and wrapped in newspaper will keep them fresh and beautiful. Another misconception is that you can force them to open by piercing the stems just where the base of the flower meets the stem. Instead, you should trim the stems and place them in fresh water if you want to keep them happy. If you are worried about them drooping, you can support the stems with sticks and floral tape to prop them up.

Snapping the heads of certain flowers is believed to make them last longer. This is not entirely true but it's important to remember that the top flowers on stems of gladiolas and snapdragons often remain closed. They also turn brown before the rest of the flowers on the stem so removing them before they make your bouquet look like its perishing.

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