Cut Flower Food

What Makes the Best Food for Cut Flowers

Just like plant nutrients are crucial for maintaining plant health, cut flower food is provided to make flowers look lively and fresh for a longer period. Identify the ingredients, and you can try the recipe for the same at home.
HobbyZeal Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Arranging fresh flowers is definitely an easy way to give life to the interior décor. You can either purchase cut flowers from your local florist center, or collect them from your yard. Even a single rose or tuberose adds color and fragrance to the room. However, the unfortunate part is that it fades and withers very soon after being cut from the parent plant. This is where the importance of flower food comes into the picture. A good solution to increase the shelf life of fresh flowers is preparing such food, and providing it to them.

Food for Cut Flowers

Fresh flowers are best cut in the morning, after which they are placed immediately in cool water. The fading color of these flowers is due to the fact that they are no longer alive, and their metabolic activities are stopped after cutting from the mother plant. Though it is not practical to bring them alive again, you can certainly try homemade food recipes to keep them fresh for an extended time. The main objective is to supply nutrients to them so that part of their metabolic activities remain active to prolong their shelf life. The common ingredients used are listed below:
  • Water is undoubtedly the main recipe component. Putting the flowers in cool water, right after cutting, is the simplest way to keep them fresh. This is the reason why florists often put them in water.
  • Sucrose is also a key ingredient. As flowers are not in contact with the green foliage, they are deprived from the main energy source, i.e., glucose. Providing sugar externally increases the life of cut flowers.
  • Since tap water is mostly alkaline, it impairs the rate of water and nutrient uptake by the flowers. You can add lime juice, or other acidifiers to balance the alkalinity, and increase the water absorption rate. These acidifiers also aid in retaining petal colors.
  • Another factor to be considered is the attack of bacteria in their stems and remaining parts. For this, you can mix bleach powder in small amounts, which acts as an effective natural biocide.
Homemade Food Recipes for Cut Flowers

It won't be wrong to say that cut flowers are much more popular than bloom ones in the garden. Even if you don't have a spare yard to grow flowering plants, or just don't have time and patience to care for them, you have the option of buying cut flowers, and adopting different ways for flower arrangements. If you have bought a bunch of your favorite white roses, and are wondering how to make them look fresh for a longer time, the following are some simple preservative recipes to serve the same:

#1
Take 2 quarts water in a bowl, and stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar (energy source), 4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (acidifier), and 1 teaspoon bleach (biocide). Combine well, and use this mixture.

#2
Gather the flower food ingredients: 1 cup warm water, 1 cup lime flavored carbonated soft drink, and ¼ teaspoon chlorine bleach. Combine them together in a mixing bowl, and fill the vase before introducing fresh flowers to it.

#3
Add 1 ounce of mouthwash (for example, Listerine) in ½ gallon of cool water, and mix well. This mouthwash contains both sucrose and biocide for elongating the shelf life of cut flowers.

#4
White vinegar is an excellent acidifier. Mix 2 tablespoons, each of sugar and plain vinegar, with 1 quart water and ½ teaspoon chlorine bleach. Pour this concoction into the vase for keeping these flowers fresh.

Before putting them in the solution, make it a point to trim the flower stalks with sharp scissors. This will open up the vascular systems, and increase uptake of water and nutrients. In addition to these recipes, you can also find commercial products for increasing the life of cut flowers. Thus, use your creativity for flower arrangements, and enjoy them fresh for several days to come.