‘Maximum amount of life’: ‘Best way’ to keep cut flowers fresh for longer – watering tips

M&S demonstrates how to trim a new flower bouquet

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Cut flowers and bouquets are a popular Mother’s Day gift. However, it can be difficult to keep fresh flowers looking their best. M&S flower expert Simon Richards has shared the “best way” to care for cut flowers and get the “maximum life out of them”.

Remove packaging and cut the stems

The very first thing to do is remove any wadding or protective packaging.

Mr Richards said: “Take that off and then the first thing to do once you’ve got your vase of water ready is to recut these stems.”

The flower expert advised people to use a “sharp, angled cut”.

He said the reason this needs to be done is to allow the stems to drink.

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When the flowers have been in transit, some of the stems can dry out if they have not been in contact with water.

“They close up and that’s to retain moisture in the stem.

“What it does mean if you don’t recut them, when you put them into water and they won’t be able to drink.”

“So, that’s quite important – nice clean cuts across all the stems and that means that the bouquet is going to be able to drink.”

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Elastic band

Mr Richards said keeping the elastic band on allows the stems to stay “cleanly together”.

To disguise the elastic band, you may be able to use a ribbon.

“If you’ve got some ribbon at home – we’ve got one that just matches the flowers really nicely.

“All I’m going to do is cover that elastic band.”

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The vase of water should stay clean for at least two to three days.

However, if the water turns murky, flower enthusiasts can change it.

Mr Richards said: “That water should stay nice and clean for at least two or three days.

“After that, if it does become at all murky, take your flowers out, wash your vase – just use washing up liquid – rinse it out.

“Use a bit of malt vinegar, swish that round, it’s mildly acidic it just makes the glass really shiny and sparkling.

“Fill with clean water after you’ve done that.”

Another “really important” tip is to ensure there are no leaves below the water line.

This keeps the water clean and stops the growth of bacteria.

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