It’s time to embrace your inner floral artist and bring beautiful blooms from your own garden indoors.
The best flowers to use as cut flowers are flowering perennials, shrubs and even trees that have flowers and foliage as they last long in water and provide all year-round greenery. This is what you need to get started:
- A vase that has been cleaned with hot water and a little bleach
- Lukewarm water – this helps the flowers to drink more quickly
- Cut flower food
- A clean, sharp pair of secateurs
- A bucket of clean water
- Your flowers and greenery
- Floral tape, optional
Let’s get creative
Fill your vase three-quarters full with lukewarm water. Add some cut flower food and give it a good stir.
You can use floral tape to make a grid on the vase that will keep the flowers in place, or put your flowers in so that their stems criss-cross and support each other.
Remove any leaves or thorns from the stems that would be submerged to avoid the water becoming slimy.
Start with the foliage and cut the stems at a 45° angle to maximise water absorption. You can work out how much to cut off by measuring the height of the stem next to the vase.
Start with arranging some flowers around the outer edge of the vase, almost like creating a nest.
Play around with the height and use an odd number of focal flowers to create a more natural look.
Fill gaps but make sure you don’t overcrowd the flowers in the vase.
- Find the perfect spot for your flower arrangement away from draughts and direct sunlight.
- Check water levels daily, topping up when needed and replacing the water and flower food every 2-3 days.
- Keep your arrangement looking classy and fresh by recutting stems of any limp flowers and discarding any wilted blooms.
From the garden to the vase
Growing flowers that are a cut above the rest is easy to do – it just needs a little planning and know-how.
First give your plants good soil. To do this, prepare your soil by mixing in good quality compost, bonemeal and a slow-release fertiliser before planting.
Next, figure out each flower’s ideal conditions and team them up based on their demands. Consider how much light they need, water requirements and their height and width.
Add a layer of bark chips, grass clippings or leaf mould to protect their roots from the summer heat, scare off pesky weeds and minimise evaporation.
Feed plants regularly – at least every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
Water your plants two to three times a week during hotter months.
Cut fresh flowers in the mornings while they are still cool from the night and morning dew, with their stems full of water and carbohydrates. Don’t be scared to cut. For many plants, the more you cut, the more they flower.
Always use clean and sharp cutting tools so as not to damage the stems.
Different flowers should be cut at different times. Roses are best cut when their outer petals are starting to open, and plants like hydrangeas when they are in full bloom.
Cut your flowers about 3cm from the bottom of the main stem, at a 45° angle as this provides a larger exposed area in the stem for uptake of water. Once cut, pop your flowers immediately into a bucket of water so they don’t dehydrate.