10 top tips for extending the life of freshly cut flowers on board
Last updated: 05/06/2017
Freshly cut flowers can help to brighten up any room and add life and colour to your home and yacht. However, as we all know, keeping them fresh isn’t always the easiest task, particularly when out at sea for a long stretch of time.
Yachting Pages spoke to experienced yacht florists at Florexotica and Création Florale to create a handy guide to prolonging the life of freshly cut flowers on board a superyacht.
10 top tips for extending the life of flowers on a superyacht
1. Keep flowers cool
To prolong the life of your yacht flowers, be sure to give them some extra cooling during the night by popping them in an air-conditioned room, or by putting ice cubes in the vase, helping them to them stay fresher for longer in the often hotter-than-usual conditions on board.
2. Thirsty flowers are dead flowers
When arranging flowers, it's well-known that you should always cut the dried ends of the stem at an angle, to help fresh water get in. But, to help the flowers last even longer, you should repeat this step every few days. This will help them to absorb as much water as possible. Remember not to use scissors, instead use a knife to avoid damaging the stems.
Lilly Bavay from Florexotica commented, “Do not forget to regularly wet the oasis foam underneath arrangements, especially in warm weather - this is what carries water to the flowers. Cut the end of the flowers as soon as you receive them from the florist. If there is no floral food available, add a dash of bleach and a sprinkle of sugar to the water to help them to flourish. I'd also advise to add an ice cube to your potted orchid’s every day.”
3. Spray your flowers to preserve your bouquet
Just as hairspray preserves intricate hairdos, it also preserves cut flowers: Simply stand a foot away from the bouquet and give them a quick spray on the undersides of the leaves and petals.
4. Feed your flowers
When there are children on the superyacht or in the home, fizzy pop is a given. Don’t throw away those last few drops of soda. Pour about 1/4 cup into the water in a vase of cut flowers. The sugar in the soda will make the blossoms last longer.
5. A teaspoon of vodka helps the medicine go down
The secret to keeping cut flowers looking good for as long as possible is to minimise the growth of bacteria in the water. Instead of using bleach, you could instead add a few drops of vodka and one teaspoon of sugar for the best results.
6. Place your flowers out of chilly drafts
Always, always remember to keep flowers away from drafts, including fans and fresh sea breezes, as prolonged winds will loosen petals. You'll also need to keep displays away from direct sunlight, as this will cause them to wilt - perhaps not an easy task on board a sun-seeking superyacht!
7. Don’t 'gas' your arrangements
Keep fresh-cut flowers away from fruit and other plants, as such flora can give off the gas ethylene, which can cause premature wilting. You should also ensure to removed dead buds and leaves daily from the existing bouquet.
8. Provide fresh water
Be sure to change the flowers water every two days. It is always better to put the flowers in warm water, as lukewarm water contains less oxygen than cold water. This will also help to reduce the air bubbles likely to form in the stem’s network of vessels, blocking or limiting the flower's water uptake.
9. Fight bacteria
It may be a bit of a strange one, however Listerine mouthwash is another surprisingly commonly method used by florists and savvy strewardesses to keep flowers fresh. The antibacterial formula will help to reduce the bacteria in the water the way it kills plaque and halitosis, giving flowers a new lease of life!
10. Source quality suppliers
Last, but not least, always work with professionals. After all, as Maud at Création Florale explains, your flowers will only be as good as your supplier. She said, "Going professional will always help to ensure that the flowers are in a healthy state to begin with. After all, no one wants to spend a small fortune on beautiful flowers which are only going to last a day!"