As the summer arrives, your zinnias should start to bloom. Your garden will be bursting with colour and you are likely to be tempted to trim off those beautiful blooms, pop them in a vase and set it on your living room table. For those who aren’t lucky enough to have zinnias growing in their own garden, perhaps you have a neighbour who is willing to share or else you can take a trip down to your local florist and pick up a bunch. No matter if you grow or buy zinnias for yourself or you just want to send flowers to a friend, you always want them to last as long as possible. There are a number of ways in which you can get the most out of your cut zinnias.
Firstly, if you are cutting them from the plant yourself, you should be prepared and take a bucket of water along with you. As soon as you have trimmed the flower from the main plant, place the stem in the water. This will prevent the stem from dehydrating and you can take your time a little while picking your flowers. Also, make sure that you use a sharp pair of scissors, sheers or knife. Blunt or dull cutting tools will damage both the flowers’ stems as well as the main plant.
When cutting them from your garden, do so during cooler periods of the day such as early morning or late afternoon. Pick flowers that have just started to open. Fully opened flowers don’t have much life left and tightly closed buds may never open if they are cut from the plant too early.
Once you have cut all the zinnias you need or as soon as you arrive home from purchasing them from your florist, you can take the necessary steps to help preserve them as long as possible. This means that you will need a clean vase and some floral preserve. Add some warm water to the vase and allow the floral preserve to dissolve in the water while you tend to your zinnias.
Trim the stems to an equal length and do so at an angle. This will make sure that there is a large surface for absorbtion and the flower stems won’t lay flat on the bottom of the vase. Remove any excess leaves too. Only the stems should find themselves below water level. Trim the stems under water if possible. This will prevent air bubbles from entering the stems. When you have done all of this, you can place your zinnias in their vase and put them on display away from any direct sunlight, wind or air conditioners.
Just like with any other flowers, it is important to monitor the water level and quality in the vase. Change the water every couple of days and, when you do, check the base of the stems for bacterial growth. If the bases are covered with a slimy substance, trim about an inch off the bottom. Again, cut at an angle just like before. Add more floral preserve to the fresh water too.