How to Preserve Cut Flowers Longer with Glycerin

Two Parts:Preparing the flowersAdding the glycerin

Cut flowers will last longer if a preserving agent is used. Glycerin is one such agent that can extend the life of cut flowers and keep their appearance fresh and appealing. Adding glycerin to cut flowers is simple to do but you do need to ensure that the ratio of glycerin to water is accurate, along with preparing the flowers so that they can successfully absorb the glycerin solution.

Part 1
Preparing the flowers

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    Pick or purchase the flowers intended for display. When choosing the flowers, only choose those in good condition and without blemishes or deterioration. Glycerin preserves but does not fix the appearance of flowers.
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    Cut the flower stems diagonally across their bottoms. This increases the surface area to allow the water uptake to be plentiful.
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    Remove the bottom leaves from the stems. If left on, these will turn murky in the water and begin to rot, which will hasten the deterioration process (and it smells bad). They're not needed, so remove them.
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    Peel the skin from the base of the stem. Peel off around 6 centimeter (2.4 in) of the stem. This helps the glycerin to access each flower stem with ease, and ensures better take-up of the solution.

Part 2
Adding the glycerin

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    Add 1 part glycerin to 2 parts water in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
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    Pour the solution into the container (vase, bowl, etc.) in which the flowers will stand.
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    Arrange the prepared flowers in the solution. Ensure that the flowers have air circulation between them; in other words, don't push them in too tightly.
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    Enjoy longer-lasting flowers. In some cases, the flowers will dry out and still look good, thanks to the glycerin; you can keep these dried flowers for dried floral arrangements if you like.

Tips

  • Note that this method is only for preserving cut flowers in the vase for longer. It is not a method for preserving cut flowers for craft projects or dried flower displays, except by chance. For preserving flowers in glycerin, a more in-depth process is required, often using additional additives to the solution.

Things You'll Need

  • Flower snips or scissors used just for floral arranging (it's a good idea to sterilize the scissors you're using, to avoid spreading bacteria to the stems)
  • A vase or other container for placing the flowers in (plastic or glass; do not use metal)
  • Fresh water
  • Glycerin
  • Small bowl
  • Mixing implement


Article Info

Categories: Home and Garden