How to Keep Orchids Fresh When Cut

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Orchid have exotic-looking blooms available in many colors.

Orchids (family Orchidaceae) are stunning and unique flowers that symbolize purity, love, beauty and luxury. Although these blooms can be long-lasting, they're fragile, so you need to take extra care to keep orchids fresh when cut. If your cut orchids get proper care, they'll stay vibrant and flourish to their fullest ability.

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Orchid Flower Characteristics

Orchids are one of the largest flower families with over 25,000 species and 300,000 variations, according to the Bouqs Company. Although they come in various colors, and the appearance depends on the specific species, the orchid family has overarching similarities. Orchids have three petals and three sepals that look like petals.

Sepals protect the flower's developing reproductive structure and support the flower's petals in bloom. Also, not only are orchids bilaterally symmetrical, but they have a waxy-tube-like column that is a fusion of the orchid's male and female organs.

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Orchid Care Tips

If you want to maximize your orchid's vase life, two things you should do are cut the flower stems and feed your orchid. Flower stems naturally seal up at the ends, so cutting the ends helps your flowers take in freshwater. When you unpack your flowers, place them in water and cut your orchid stems on a diagonal with pruning shears or a sharp knife . Cutting your flowers in the water will deter air bubbles from clogging up the stems.

Make sure that you always remove any of the leaves below the water line to prevent bacteria from forming. After you cut your orchid stems and remove the leaves, let your orchids sit in the water for about 10 minutes to refresh. After your orchids sit for 10 minutes, if you don't have flower food to put in the water, you can create your own mixture to feed the orchids.

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Orchid Bleach Mixture

In a 2-quart pitcher, mix 1 teaspoon of plain, white granulated cane sugar , 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach , 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon or lime juice and 1 quart of lukewarm water. After everything is thoroughly mixed, you can fill a vase halfway up the orchid stems. As the water level goes down, add more of the leftover solution to the vase to freshen up your orchids.

Lemon-Lime Mixture

In a separate 2-quart pitcher, mix one can of clear lemon-lime soda , 1 tablespoon of sugar, seven or eight drops of hydrogen peroxide and 1 liter of lukewarm water. After you thoroughly mix everything, pour the solution halfway up the orchid stems. You can continue to use the mixture to make your orchids last longer.

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Keeping Cut Orchids Fresh Longer

Most blooms love water, but orchids can be a bit finicky because they don't like too much water. The best way to know if your orchid needs water is to check the orchid's leaves, stem and petals. If the leaves, stem or petals don't look as vibrant, or they're turning gray or yellow, then your orchid needs more water.

Another pro tip is that you don't want to place your orchids in direct sunlight. If you place your orchid in direct light, they'll dehydrate and lose their vibrant color. Instead, set your orchid in a room that gets a lot of natural light.

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Lastly, never put your orchid in a super dry or cool area. If you can't keep your home's humidity levels between 55 and 75 percent, use a mister on the orchid's leaves or keep your orchid in a room with a humidifier.

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references

Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer and her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, Popsugar, Complex, Gurl, The Kitchn, HelloGiggles, Revelist, and Food 52.