Here are a few tips on keeping your flowers looking fresher longer.
• Make homemade plant food: Flowers need food, water, and a clean environment. So their water should have a little food, like sugar, and some bleach to slow fungi and bacteria growth.
Here's a basic home recipe: 1 quart water + 2 tablespoons lemon juice + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon bleach.
• Adjust sugar for different varieties: If you want to get all advanced, here's a chart with recommended sugar percentages for different varieties of cut flowers.
• Trim stems: You want to open the stems up to the water, so cut off the dried bottoms at an angle to let them take up as much water as possible. Trim the ends, which tend to get gummy and closed, every three or four days to keep them fresh longer.
• Remove leaves: Leaves left on the stems below the water level will quickly deteriorate and promote mold. Remove all leaves from the stems below the waterline.