When a flower is still on the field, it receives all its nutritional requirements through the soil, which allows the flower to grow and develop. However, once a flower has been harvested, this connection is lost, which means the flower will not receive further nourishment. Flower food is the simplest, easiest and cheapest way to provide energy to your flowers while it helps improve their vase life.
Commercial flower food normally contains three key substances that aid in maximizing the vase life of a flower: a mixture of sugars and carbohydrates that serve as an energy source for the blooms, antibacterial which kills bacteria in the water and a PH regulator, which helps water travel faster throughout the flower’s system while keeping an optimal acidic level. Using flower food is simple. Be sure that when using it you follow the instructions printed on the packet. If too much water is used when mixing the powder, the sugars will increase bacteria forming and the antibacterial will not be strong enough to kill them.
Flower preservatives work best when combined with excellent flower care. When you receive your flowers, make sure to cut the stems under running water before you hydrate them. This way, the veins from the flowers will be clear and water will be able to go through the veins making the flower hydrate faster. When placing your flowers in a vase, make sure you are using clean water and a clean vase. This way, bacteria formation will be slowed down.
There are homemade versions of flower food you can make. You can add a teaspoon of bleach and a teaspoon of sugar per every quart of water. Keep in mind that this could be a great option when flower food is not available, but it is better to go with the commercial mix.
It is important to mention that flower food is not always necessary. As mentioned before, its main purpose is to extend the flower’s vase life for a day or two. If you are planning to use flowers for a specific event, such as a wedding or party, and they are coming fresh from the farm, flower food would not be necessary because they will last perfectly until your event comes. If you are purchasing your flowers from a local shop or florist and you are not sure how long they have been standing at their shop, then flower food is a must.