Archive for the ‘keeping bouquets fresh’ Category

How Flower Food Works

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Some visitors to the blog have asked me why flower food keeps cut flowers fresher longer.

This answer comes from Annie Bond, author of the book “Better Basics for the Home” (see link below):

The little packet of flower food are bactericides that kill the bacteria, yeasts, and fungi.

Here are tips of reaching this same goal without the chemicals:

  • Copper is a fungicide and acts to preserve the water from too many yeasts and fungi.
  • Aspirin is an acid and helps to kill bacteria overgrowth.
  • Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar to 1 quart of water. The idea here is the same as with aspirin, since lemon juice and vinegar are acidic.

That also explains why, when arranging bouquets, we remove all the leaves below the water line — so that submerged leaves don’t act as a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria and shorten the life of your blooms.

Flower Food Recipes: How to Make Your own Cut Flower Food

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Cut-flower bouquets bought from a flower delivery website or from your local florist will usually have powdered “flower food” to extend the life of your bouquet. But for wildflowers or flowers gathered from your garden, if you don’t have store-bought flower food on hand, you can make your own.

Warning: I have NOT tested these recipes, and it’s pretty hard to separate the folk-wisdom from the science. I would love to hear from others who have compared the various recipes. And if you have your own “secret recipe” that works, please add it to this blog as a Comment!

Flower Food Recipe (thanks to Kathryn M.)

1 teaspoon bleach
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 quart clean, room-temperature water

Recipe Using Copper Pennies & Aspirin (thanks to Mark M.)

a few copper pennies
a couple aspirin tablets
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 quart clean, room-temperature water