Fall is upon us, and one of the favorite flowers for fall (say that 3 times really fast!) are sunflowers. They are gorgeous, easy to grow, and make beautiful arrangements for fall decorating.
Unfortunately, a lot of people have told me they have had a lot of trouble keeping sunflowers from wilting after picking. But after you read these tips, you will have sunflower arrangements that will last a week or more! I hope you enjoy the tips (and the pretty flower pics in between)! 🙂
5 Tips On How To Keep Sunflowers Alive And Fresh!
1. Water thoroughly a few hours before picking.
Sunflowers grow very tall and need a lot of water to survive. When the ground they are growing in dries out, they will wilt quickly. Picking them when the ground is dry will produce the same result, even if they are not wilted before picking.
A few hours (or the night) before picking, water the sunflowers thoroughly. This will give the sunflowers time to soak up as much water as possible, so when you pick them they will be at their optimal freshness.
2. Pick in the early morning.
Sunflowers obviously like the sun, but they dry out quickly during the day when the sun is beating down on them. Picking them at this time will only add insult to injury and you will have a bunch of wilted, petal losing sunflowers on your hands!
Try to pick sunflowers in the first couple of hours after dawn. They had the whole night to rejuvenate their water supply, and since it’s still cool in the early morning, they will not wilt when picked.
3. Cut stems at an angle.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before- if you cut stems at an angle, there is more surface area of the stem available to soak up more water. I also think this helps because straight cut stems will rest flat on the bottom of a vase, blocking them from being able to soak up much water. Either way, it seems to make the sunflowers happy, so I’m sticking with it. 🙂
4. Put stems in water immediately after picking.
Like I mentioned before, sunflowers are big with long stems and heavy flowers. They need to be kept in water as much as possible to prevent them from wilting. Putting them in water immediately after picking will keep them well hydrated and lessen the shock of being picked. I usually carry around a 5 gallon bucket filled with a few inches of water while I’m picking so I can stick them in water immediately.
5. Change the water every day.
I’ve tried a multitude of over-the-counter and homemade flower preservers, and frankly none has ever worked as well as simply changing the water in the vase every day. The idea here is to keep the bacteria levels low to slow the decomposition of the flowers. And when I did try flower preservers and just topped off the water as the sunflowers needed, the water and flower stems were pretty stinky when it was time to part company with them. Changing the water every day will make them last longer and there will be minimal to no smell once it’s time to throw them into the compost pile.
Let me know what you think or if you have any sunflower-saving tips of your own you’d like to share!