There's nothing that can brighten up a home like fresh flowers. However, blooms naturally start to droop, fade and wilt with time, which can be an eyesore and a major disappointment. While there are many ways to keep them looking healthy and bright, some tactics only require items you likely already have in your home. Next time you have a bouquet in your house, use these tips to extend their life without spending a lot of time and money.
There's a reason bleach is a common ingredient in household cleaning supplies: It helps to kill bacteria. For the same reason, it's a helpful addition to your flowers' vase. Reader's Digest recommends adding 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per liter of vase water. Or, the source explained that you could combine 3 drops of bleach with 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1 liter of water, which will result in less cloudy water.
Painkillers are good for your plants, too. Gardening expert of the DIY Network Ahmed Hassan told CBS News that dissolving a tablet in the vase's water before adding flowers creates an acidic solution, which allows water to absorb up the stem more quickly. You'll still need to change the water every few days, however.
Don't throw away that leftover soda – even if it has gone flat, it's still a great formula for keeping those flowers fresh. Hassan explained that any lemon-lime flavored soda, including Sprite, 7-Up and Sierra Mist, has citric acid, which is beneficial for your blossoms. He recommended mixing one part soda with three parts water. Avoid diet sodas, as Hassan noted the sugar is crucial for this solution to work. Additionally, dark colas are too acidic for your delicate blossoms.
Who knew flowers like a cocktail now and then? John Dole, a professor of horticulture at North Carolina State University, explained to Scientific American that clear alcohol, like vodka, preserves blooms. This is likely because it prevents ethylene, a gas that causes wilting, from producing. However, he pointed out that typical vodka from the liquor store contains 40 percent alcohol, which is much too high for plants to handle. Therefore, only add a few drops and include 1 teaspoon of sugar to help provide extra nourishment. Remember to change the water every other day, replenishing it with the vodka and sugar.
Instead of throwing pennies into a fountain, toss them into your flower vase. Hassan explained that the copper works like an acidifier and a fungicide to inhibit bacteria and fungus from growing. He noted that it's important to add pennies that are dated before 1982, as those minted afterward are mainly comprised of zinc with only a small amount of copper in the coating.
When you want to keep your style locked into place, you use hairspray – so why not use it to maintain your flowers' beauty? Reader's Digest advised a quick spray from one foot away, focusing on the undersides of the petals.