Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quick Tip-Making Sunflowers Last Longer

Summer is in full swing, and the Cutting Garden is bursting with sunflowers and zinnias. While I was prepping the sunflowers yesterday, I thought maybe someone could learn a little, simple lesson on how to make these flowers last longer...

All you need is an open flame (I use the stove, but a match, lighter, or candle would work as well). After giving the flower a fresh cut, hold the end of the stem into the flame for a few seconds to "seal" the end.
Sunflowers, zinnias, and (in the Spring) poppies can all be treated this way, as they all have a milky sap inside their stems. By sealing off the stem, the sap doesn't infiltrate the water (aiding in the growth of bacteria that can shorten the life of cut flowers) and the flower can then absorb more water from the stem itself.
The bottom sunflower is a 'Teddy Bear' sunflower. The seeds were at least 5 years old, but two little plants made it, even if they are rather small.
Zinnias can brighten up any spot in the house.
These little guys on the bathroom counter were an afterthought-they were only planted about a month and a half ago. I think all that heat helped them grow a bit faster.


  1. I had no one little sunflower that survived the critters will be sealed are a genius!

  2. Well...I only share what others teach me.