How to keep blooms lasting from garden to vase. These methods can also be applied to purchased flowers as well!
When cutting your flowers from the garden you want to harvest them in the cool of the day, whether that is in the early morning or in the later evening when the sun isn't blazing. Harvesting in the morning is typically the best as they are fully hydrated.
You'll want to make sure that flowers are indeed ready to be cut. That the flower is in proper blooming phase and that the stems aren't droopy in any way.
Cut the stem at a 45 degree angle. This allows for more surface area for the flower to uptake water and nutrients.
Make sure you have your water prepped and ready for the cutting phase and it is a good idea to have flower food or a drop of bleach in your bucket/vase. Flower food contains a starch in it that the flowers consume along with citric acid for water ph and bleach for bacteria. If you don't have flower food bleach is great alternative and is fine on it's own.
Let them hydrate for at least 4 hours. 24 hours ideal.
Store in a cool place away from sunlight. Here on the farm we have a walk in cooler. Obviously most people won't have this. So a cool place in your home without light will do just fine!
Switch your water out every other day! This will keep the flowers fresh and help them last longer. Check their stems when doing this. If any stems look yucky, give them a clean cut!
Lastly some flowers like poppies or lilac are delicate. They need a little extra love. Boil their stems for 7-10 seconds to open up their pores. Place them directly into a room temp flower food supplied water and put in a cool place.
Woody stems like lilacs and roses benefit from a cut or two directly up the stem (to split the stem) about 1/4' - 1/2' up. The woody stems benefit from this by opening them up more for better water intake.