If cut flower stems are momentarily out of water, air plugs up the cells that need to transport liquid. Dissolve commercial preservative in 110-degree water in a clean vase. Remove the foodproducing leaves below the water level. Recut the stems under water and quickly place into prepared vase.
Place the vase in a very cool environment for two hours to maximize the water uptake. Once hardened off, keep the vase away from both hot and cold drafts. Keep the vase out of direct light and away from apples that give off ethylene gas that speeds aging (ripening). Enjoy a fresh bouquet for Valentine’s Day.
Jo Bjerke is a master gardener. She lives in Virginia, MN.