Recipe by Dreamer in Ontario
I stumbled across this recipe for making your own flower preservative on About.com today. TIPS: To keep your cut flowers fresh you need to give them water and food, protect them from decay or infection, plus keep them cool and out of direct sunlight. Try to keep your flowers away from ripe fruit as the gases will shorten their life. Keep them in a cool area and away from direct sunlight. Flowers with milky latex-containing sap such as poinsettia, heliotrope, hollyhock, euphorbia and poppies need special treatment. The milky sap prevents water loss by the stem but in cut flowers it prevents the absorption of water. To prevent this problem dip the bottom tips (1/2 inch) of the stems in boiling water for about 30 seconds, or by flashing the tips of the stems with a lighter or other flame.
- 2 cups carbonated lemon-lime beverage, such as Sprite, 7-Up
- 1⁄2 teaspoon bleach, household
- 2 cups warm water (tap water is okay but if it is high in salts and fluorides distilled is better)
Directions See How It's Made
- Discard decaying leaves and flowers and any foliage which would be below the water line, plus any unnecessary leaves.
- Trim bottom ends of flower stems by cutting on an angle to maximize the surface area for water and to prevent the ends from resting flat on the bottom of the vase.
- Mix lemon-lime beverage, bleach, and warm water. Be sure to use warm water (100-110 degrees Fahrenheit or 38-40 Celsius). It will move up the stems more effectively than cold water; add flowers.