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When cutting fresh flowers always consider the ones that are still in the bud form, for this makes for a longer lasting life span and be sure to cut a long enough stem that will be able to absorb enough water to keep the plant alive. Always cut in a slanting direction with a very sharp knife because it exposes more of the stem area and then place in ordinary pipe born water immediately. Try cutting flowers early in the morning as that is the time they are filled with all the stored food they require. You can safely remove the excess leaves that will be exposed to too much water and make your arrangement look somewhat disorganized, but remember never cut the thorns off the roses as they are known to shorten their life span.
When you cut a flower from the main plant it immediately loses the support it needs to survive without all the roots and soil and other natural elements that makes plants grow and stay alive. Bacteria and air bubbles begin to form immediately after the flower is cut. This is why it is necessary to get some sort of biocides, which are chemicals that will kill the bacteria, yeast and fungi that feed on the sap from the exposed stems. These can easily be purchased at your local florist shop. When the stem of the flower is cut an air bubble forms at the end and is trapped, blocking the flow of more water getting up the stem. Even if you add more water it will just remain there because there is no way it can pass through the air bubble.
If you do not like using chemicals to preserve the length of your flower life you might try some of the other suggestions, such as adding some lemon soda to the water, or some bleach or a plain old mouthwash such as Listerine which contains sucrose (food) and bactericide. The acid in the Listerine is supposed to help keep water moving up the cut stem. Some say a little sugar in the water might also help preserve the plant life span.
Water should be changed every two days; you should throw out the stale water before replacing with fresh water, never just fill up the water supply because your plant will have a shorter life span. This has something to do with the oxygen that exists in the fresh water, and will certainly keep your plants looking fresher longer. Always keep plants away from fruits as they tend to release gasses that cause flowers to age faster. Also be sure to keep flowers away from direct sunlight and try moving them to a cooler place at night, that way they will be able to absorb more water into their stem.
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