Seeing as a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers brings so much joy, it’s no surprise to want to keep them alive for as long as possible. To do this you might consider using a floral preservative, but what are they and do floral preservatives work? As self-proclaimed lovers of flowers, we’ve decided to find out for ourselves.
What are Floral Preservatives?
Once flowers are cut, their natural ability to create life-sustaining sugars starts to fade. This means that the color, fragrance, and strength of the flower drops off. To fight these effects, you can add a floral preservative to the vase water of your Bouq. The floral preservative is made up of several ingredients, all of which can help extend its life.
Do Floral Preservatives Work?
In a word, yes, floral preservatives work. There are many other factors that can come into play in deciding the vase life of your Bouq, including how your flowers are prepared for the vase, but adding a floral preservative to the water has all the major elements to help out. The most important thing a flower needs to stay alive is having water and sucrose flowing through its veins, and that is exactly what a floral preservative helps facilitate.
For the best effect, mix your floral preservative in warm water (around 100°F).
What’s in Floral Preservatives?
The individual make-up of each brand of floral preservative might change from brand to brand, but all floral preservatives contain these key ingredients:
- Sucrose (sugar or dextrose)
- An acidifier
- Biocide, or an antibacterial agent
Each of these has its own important role to play in keeping your flowers alive for longer, and when used together they’re like a magical Goop-approved tonic for your Bouq.
Sucrose, Acidifier, and Biocides…Huh?
Sucrose is the energy that your flowers use to maintain their wonderful fragrance and colors. While in the ground, the leaves of flowers produce their fuel using photosynthesis, but that doesn’t work once they’re cut, so adding sugar to their water gives them a sweet survival boost.
Most tap water is alkaline, as in its pH is over 5. The cell sap of flowers, however, is acidic (around 3.5 pH), so to help it take in and transport water more easily an acidifier is used to make the water more acidic. It’s like having to find the right blood type for a human. It’s not nearly as dangerous or complicated as it sounds however, as one of the most common acidifiers is citric acid, the same as in lemons and limes.
One of the biggest dangers for cut flowers is bacteria or fungi attacking the open wound at the bottom of their stem. This leads to the stem being blocked up and unable to take in the water and sugar from the vase. For this reason, floral preservatives include an antibacterial agent or biocide to kill off any microbes which could harm your flower. This is usually chlorine or bromide, though the quantities are not high enough to make the water dangerous to you, your pets, or the flower itself.
Other Tips to Help Your Bouq Live Longer
- Trim dead or dying leaves
- Clean your vase properly before use
- Cut your flowers about an inch above the previous cut
- Always cut at an angle rather than flat
- Keep clear of fruits, especially bananas and apples
For floral care tips that are specific to the flowers in your Bouq, head to the flower care section of our site and select your flower from the list.
Where To Find Floral Preservatives?
Floral preservatives can be picked up in any good plant shop or garden center. If you happen to have local bodegas or shops selling flowers, they should also be able to help out.
At The Bouqs Co., all of our flowers are farm fresh, and we don’t use chemicals to preserve our Bouqs. However, we do include an organic food packet with every bouquet to help you keep your flowers healthier for longer. Just like everyone else, for flowers, food is fuel!Shop All