Ever wondered why your beautiful blooms wilt so quickly? It may be because of how you’re cutting those stems. But fear not; we’ve got your back with some handy techniques for cutting your flower stems correctly.

Tip 1: Timing is Key

Cut stems should be immediately placed in lukewarm water with flower food to prevent wilting. The length of the cut depends on how long the flowers have been without water. If they’ve been out awhile, trim more (3-4 inches) to ensure proper hydration and vitality.

Tip 2: Cutting Straight vs. Cutting on an Angle 

While cutting straight across the stem may seem convenient, opting for a 45-degree angle cut offers more benefits. This angle ensures that the entire surface area of the stem stays in contact with the water, facilitating better hydration and prolonging the lifespan of your blooms.

Tip 3: Choose the Best Tools 

For precise cuts, opt for clean garden snips or a sharp knife. Avoid using scissors as they can crush the stem’s vessels, impeding water uptake. Choose tools that allow for a clean, sharp cut to promote optimal hydration and longevity for your flowers.

Tip 4: Understanding Varietal Differences 

Hydrangeas can benefit from a vertical slit up the stem after initial trimming to enhance water absorption. Ensure no leaves are submerged in the water to prevent mold and sliminess, especially for varieties like Alstroemeria, roses, lilies, and chrysanthemums.

Tip 5: Determine How Much to Cut 

Aim to cut about 1-2 inches from the bottom of the stem. However, depending on how long the flowers have been out of water, you may need to adjust this length. 

Bouquets from florists may have stems of varying lengths, so ensure each stem is cut to the appropriate length for your vase. Sometimes, you may need to trim more (3-4 inches) to ensure uniformity at the base of the arrangement.

Tip 6: Opt for Individual Cutting 

When creating bouquets or mixed arrangements, it’s better to cut each stem individually rather than multiple stems simultaneously. This method helps prevent damage to the stems and ensures a more even base for your arrangement. 

Flower Stems
Cat Stephens Photography via rockmywedding.co.uk

Flowers like poppies or dahlias produce a thick, milky sap when cut, hindering water absorption. Treat the stems with hot water or brief boiling immediately after trimming to address this issue. This method helps remove the sap and encourages better water uptake, ensuring the longevity of your flowers.


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