Fact or Fable: The Myths of Cut Flower Care

salisbury at enjoy floral studio bouquet of fresh flowers

When you get a fresh bouquet of cut flowers, naturally, you want to do whatever you can to keep them looking fresh and bright for as long as possible. There are some clever tricks for helping your cut flowers last, but there are also plenty of myths swirling around that won’t do much good for your bouquet.  

We did some sleuthing, checked the facts, and debunked the myths. Keep reading to find out what’s fact and what’s fable when it comes to cut flower care.  


Can You Use Sugar or Lemonade as Cut Flower Food?

No! Sugar or lemonade won’t feed your plants at all. In fact, all it will do is feed bacteria in the water, causing the water to get funky and green much faster. The overgrowth of bacteria will kill your flowers faster, so sugar or lemonade has no place in your vase. Instead, stick to the little packets of flower food that come with your bouquet. The measured portion is perfect for one large bouquet, so it’s hard to mess it up!  


salisbury at enjoy floral studio yellow tulips in vase

Do Pennies Keep Tulips Upright and Fresh?

Well, it depends””copper is a natural fungicide that can prolong the life of your cut flowers and keep them healthier for longer. However, in Canada, we only made pennies with copper until 1996, and after that, they were primarily zinc-based with a barely-there copper coating. In America, they made the switch from copper to zinc in 1982. That means you’ll only get the antifungal effects if you use a very old penny. Plus, pennies aren’t exactly easy to come by in Canada these days! They’ve been out of circulation for many years.    


Do Lilies Die Faster if You Remove the Anthers?

No! Lilies won’t die faster if you remove the anthers, so you can go right ahead and pop them off. This will help to prevent stains on the furniture or even on the flower petals themselves. It’s also a good idea to remove the anthers if you have pollen allergies.


salisbury at enjoy floral studio cutting rose thorns

Should I Remove the Leaves and Thorns From Roses?

Yes and no. It’s a good idea to remove the leaves and thorns from the bottom of the stems, where they’ll be submerged in water. This helps to prevent mold and fungal buildup. However, you should keep the leaves and thorns above the surface level intact, as this will help the cut flowers to soak up moisture and nutrients more efficiently.  


Can You Change the Colour of Cut Flowers With Food Dye?

Yes! Concentrated food dye added to water can gradually change the colours of your cut flowers’ petals. This way, you can have flowers in unexpected colours like bright blue, teal, or lime green, or you can create an interesting ombré effect, as the colour tends to appear along the petal edges first. White flowers like roses and carnations will produce the best results.


Will Cut Flowers Do Better in a Sunny Location?

No! While your cut flower bouquet may like the sunny location, this will lead to their blooms opening up faster, which ultimately shortens their lifespan. Instead, keep them in a cool location away from any direct sunbeams.


Will Bleach Safely Disinfect the Water for Cut Flowers?

You’re better off leaving the bleach for the laundry. A teeny, tiny drop of bleach can help to keep the water clear of bacteria, but it’s easy to overdo it, which will just end up harming your delicate cut flowers. Instead, use a flower food with natural antimicrobial compounds to help keep the water clean for longer.


salisbury at enjoy floral studio cutting flower stems

Should I Bash the Stems of My Cut Flowers With a Hammer?

Don’t. Just, don’t. The best thing you can do for your flower stems is to cut off the bottoms at an angle with a super sharp, clean knife or a pair of garden snips. No bashing necessary””that will only inhibit the flowers’ ability to soak up moisture.  

Cut flowers are fantastic for brightening up your home or workspace, and they can last for several weeks with proper care. Visit the Floral Studio at Salisbury at Enjoy to put together your own gorgeous custom arrangement, or select from one of our many seasonal signature bouquets.

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Salisbury at Enjoy has trained florists at your service. Order a beautiful arrangement for any occasion.


Read through our Growing Guides for tips to enrich your garden! 

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