Care and conditioning – autumn flowers

by Charlotte.Barnes on August 26, 2010

Autumn is a great time for cut flowers; they come in all sorts of warm hues and are perfect for brightening up your home as summer begins to fade away.

We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular autumn flowers and how you can extend their vase life with proper care.


You should re-cut the stems on arrival and remove any foliage below water level. You can store them in tall buckets but don’t overcrowd them. Their optimum storage temperature is 2-5ºC. The leaves of alstroemeria are very delicate, more so than the flowers, so you should handle them as little as possible. If you look after them they can have a vase life of up to 10 days.


When the flowers arrive you should re-cut the stems and if you are going to wrap them to give to friends then you should take extra care not to damage the delicate flower heads. If storing them then you should keep them between 2-5ºC. Also called dill, this perennial herb can also be dried and eaten. In a vase they will last approximately 5-7 days.


These often arrive with the heads wrapped to prevent damage, when removing the wrapping take extra care as the heads are quite delicate. Before placing in water re-cut the stems or if you are storing them keep the temperature at 2-5ºC.

Keep the blooms in a light room as this will help the flowers to develop. You should always use flower food so the plant can get the nutrients they need and any yellowing foliage should be removed. Do this and you will be rewarded with a vase life of up to two weeks.


When they arrive re-cut the stems and place into water straight away, they don’t do well in storage. In the vase don’t pack them too tightly as they can easily get damaged, leading to the collapse of the flower head. Their vase life should be around 5-8 days.


You should re-cut the stems and remove any foliage below water level before placing into a vase. Like the dahlia, they don’t store very well so storage isn’t recommended. The leaves can rot very quickly so it’s best to remove them as soon as they start to wilt. It is also best that you change the water frequently to ensure a vase life of up to six days.


Chrysanthemums emit a large amount of eythlene gas, so should be kept away from sensitive flowers. And you should simply cut the stems and not bash them. The foliage should be removed as it dies, this makes the flowers last longer. Don’t pack too closely as this can encourage the fungus known as botrytis, which is very difficult to treat.


The stems should be re-cut and the flower placed into clean water with good flower food. They are long lasting and tough so can last 8-10 days. They also work very well as a dried flower.


You should put these in deep water and keep the vase topped up. They should be left in a bright room; this allows the buds to open. They have a long vase life of up to two weeks if looked after correctly. If you nip the top two or three buds off then the stems will stay straight. You should also remove dead flower heads; this will encourage more to open.


These delicate plants should be handled with care so that the flower heads are not damaged. When you get them re-cut the stems and place into water. Try not to overcrowd your vase as this can also harm the little flowers. Their vase life is around 7-10 days.


Re-cut the stems and place in a tall vase, as the flowers can be top heavy. If storing, keep the temperature at 4-5ºC because they don’t react well to cold storage, it can damage the flower heads. Sunflowers are heavy drinkers so vases should be topped up regularly, if you do this then their vase life will be around 7-10 days.

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Care Tips, How-to Guides, Knowledge  

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