How to Care for Cut Sunflowers

I always grow a large patch of sunflowers somewhere in my vegetable garden. The bright yellow petals are such a joy to look at as I tend to my gardening tasks! While I prefer to leave most of the flowers to continue growing outside, I also enjoy a happy vase of sunflowers on the table as well. Keeping sunflowers fresh and long lasting indoors can be challenging, so how does one properly care for cut sunflowers?

Cutting Fresh Sunflowers

What is the Vase Life of Sunflowers?

Sunflowers should last six to twelve days with proper care. 

When to Cut Sunflowers for Optimum Vase Life?

When it comes to choosing sunflowers, it is important to pick ones that are just starting to fully open but not fully open. This will help maximize their vase life.

Watering your sunflowers the day before you plan to cut them will ensure that the plants are well hydrated. This is especially important if the ground is dry.

It’s a good idea to have a vase or other container ready to put your sunflowers in as soon as you cut them. This will help prevent the flowers from wilting.

Keeping sunflowers fresh and long lasting can be challenging, so how does one properly care for cut sunflowers?

How to Care for Cut Sunflowers

1. Trim Sunflower Stems

When it comes to sunflowers, trimming the stems is a critical part of keeping the flowers healthy. If you want your sunflowers to last as long as possible, it’s important to trim the stems regularly. Simply pull them from the vase every day or two and trim a 1/2 inch.

Pay attention when cutting the stems, do it at an angle and use sharp pruners. This will allow the flowers to absorb water more easily and take in as much water as possible.

Also, be sure to remove any leaves that will fall below the waterline in the vase. These leaves can rot and cause bacteria to build up, which can shorten the lifespan of your sunflowers. 

2. Fill Your Vase With Tepid Water

Did you know that you should fill your vase with tepid water when you’re cutting sunflowers for a bouquet? Here’s why: When you cut a sunflower stem, it releases a sap that can clog the stem and prevent water from flowing up.

If the water in your vase is too cold, the sap will harden and create an even bigger blockage. But if you put warm water to it, the sap will remain soft and won’t cause as much of a problem.

3. Change the Water in Vase Regularly

If you want your sunflowers to stay fresh, it is important to change the water in their vase regularly. Water should be changed every other day—more often if the water turns murky. Flowers need clean water to stay hydrated and healthy. 

4. Add Sugar and Lemon to the Vase

If you’re looking to keep your sunflowers blooming and fresh, adding sugar and lemon to the vase is a great way to do so. The sugar will act as a food source for the flowers, while the acidity of the lemon will help delay wilting.

Recipe: Simply mix together 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice or vinegar, and add it to your sunflower vase. 

5. Position Away From Direct Sunlight

First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that the area is out of direct sunlight or cool drafts. This is important because sunflowers are very susceptible to heat damage and can quickly wilt in warm temperatures. As you are probably aware, a cut sunflower in a vase doesn’t need sunlight.

Additionally, you’ll want to avoid placing your vase near any heat sources, like radiators or fireplaces.

Keeping sunflowers fresh and long lasting can be challenging, so how does one properly care for cut sunflowers?

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