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Extending the Life of Fall Flowers

Summer may be over, but that doesnít mean your fall garden canít have gorgeous blooms! Autumn colors are coming, so start welcoming these shades in your flowers, as well, with potted bordeaux or burgundy mums or vibrant yellow sunflowers. Prolong the beauty of your fall floral displays with these simple tips:

1. If your cut flowers hail from a wrapped bouquet, start by removing the cellophane wrapping, rubber bands or any other bindings. Next, recut the flower stems at a sharp angle, which makes it easier for the flower to get water by broadening the stemís surface area. Next, sprinkle in the flower food packet provided with your flowers. This will help keep your flowers free from bacteria and your vase clean. Always place your flowers in lukewarm water. This will make the flower food easier for the blooms to absorb.

2. In fall, mums are perhaps as common as pumpkins. But potted mums from the grocery store donít always last the longest. To increase their longevity, repot your blooms after bringing them home. Mums are usually rootbound when you purchase them, making it hard for the plant to get enough water. When repotting, add fresh soil in a slightly larger container. Remove the plant from the original pot and break up the roots by gently rubbing them. Fill in the space at the bottom of the new container with fresh soil and tamp it down gently. Place the mum in the container and surround the roots with soil, pressing down to remove air pockets. Over the fall months, give your potted mum plenty of sun. Never let the soil go dry; periodically water and remove any blooms that have reached the end of their life cycle.