Harvesting, Conditioning Cut Flowers

How to Harvest, Condition Fresh Flowers

When the flower garden that you nurtured for a year starts to bloom it's time to sit back and take in all of its splendour.
I usually try not to bring flowers in the house, because I spend most of my day outside in the garden. However, I do love fresh flowers on my outdoor table.
Sometimes I'll only pick a single flower, sometimes I'll pick bunches of flowers like; sunflowers, lilacs, peonies, stalk, sweet peas and fragrant hosta blooms.


This doesn't always work for me.
I still get droopy lilacs an hour after I put them in water.
First I find my trusty sharp clippers and go to the garden, but a sharp knife does less damage to the flower stems. I'm dangerous with a sharp knife. Clippers works better for me.
A clean, sharp cut, diagonally across the stem is best. The angle cut will also stop the flower from sitting flat on the bottom of the container which will prevent water uptake. I like cutting flowers early in the morning, it's still cool and everything is dry and hopefully the bugs and spiders are not home.
I usually take a jar or a bucket with warm water to put my freshly picked flowers in, because once I get in the garden "time flies" and I don't want to be rushed. :)
Mature blooms - fully opened - I don't pick, because they won't last once they're indoors and just make a big mess. I pick the ones that are just starting to open and then I watch them do their opening magic indoors.

Hallow Stems

I heard of people filling the hallow stems of plants with water and then plugging them with cotton. That would work well in arrangements.
Turn the hallow stem of the flower upside down, use an eyedropper, or a syringe and fill the stem with water. Tap the stem gently to release any air bubbles, seal the hallow stem and you are done.
Some hallow stems are: lupins, dahlias and delphiniums.

What I've learned from all of this?
Knowledge is good, experience is better! Go out and pick yourself a large bouquet of fresh flowers --- just because! :)

back to home and gardening content