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Flower power
Flower power
SHUTTERSTOCK

If you’re looking for a way to make your cut flowers bloom vibrantly and stay fresh for a few more days, try one of these tips that use household ingredients to make your flowers last longer.

Soft drink
Soft drink
ISTOCK/KARANDAEV

Don’t throw away those last drops of fizzy drink! Pour about 1/4 cup into the water in a vase full of cut flowers. The sugar in the soft drink will make the blossoms last longer. Note: If you have a clear vase and want the water to remain clear, use a clear soft drink, like Sprite or 7-Up.

Hair spray
Hair spray
ISTOCK/LEE ROGERS

Just as it preserves your hairstyle, a spritz of hair spray can help your cut flowers look fresh longer. Stand 30cm from the bouquet and give them a quick spray, just on the undersides of the leaves and petals.

Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
ISTOCK/DENIO RIGACCI

Everyone likes to keep cut flowers around as long as possible, and there are several good methods. One way is to mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vase water before adding the flowers. Be sure to change the water (with more vinegar and sugar, of course) every few days to enhance your flowers’ longevity.

Vodka
Vodka
ISTOCK/KARANDAEV

The secret to keeping cut flowers looking good as long as possible is to minimise the growth of bacteria in the water and to provide nourishment to replace what the flower would have gotten had it not been cut. Add a few drops of vodka (or any clear spirit) to the vase water for antibacterial action along with 1 teaspoon sugar. Change the water every other day, refreshing the vodka and sugar each time.

Aspirin
Aspirin
ISTOCK/EUROBANKS

It’s a tried-and-true way to keep roses and other cut flowers fresh longer: Put a crushed aspirin in the water before adding your flowers. Also, don’t forget to change the vase water every few days.

Bleach
Bleach
ISTOCK/DEBBISMIRNOFF

Freshly cut flowers will last longer if you add 1/4 teaspoon bleach per 1 litre of vase water. Another popular recipe calls for 3 drops bleach and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 litre water. This will also keep the water from getting cloudy and inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Sugar
Sugar
ISTOCK/PHOTOMELON/SHUTTERSTOCK

Make your own preservative to keep cut flowers fresh longer. Dissolve 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar per litre of warm water. When you fill the vase, make sure the cut stems are covered by 7-10 centimetres of the prepared water. The sugar nourishes the plants, while the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth. You’ll be surprised how long the arrangement stays fresh.

This article originally appeared on Reader’s Digest.

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