Bringing sprigs of frothy blossom into the house is a springtime ritual I love. However, blossom flowers are very delicate and in the past I've struggled to keep the petals from dropping after only a few hours inside. This year, I wanted to learn how to keep blossom fresh indoors and I thought you might like to share the tips and tricks I've learned:
Some varieties of blossom will hold their flowers longer than others. I’ve had greatest success with keeping magnolia and apple blossom in the house for longest. Delicate blossom, like cherry, may only last a couple of days before it needs to be replaced.
Early spring can be surprisingly warm and flowers dehydrate as the day goes on. In the morning, plants will be full of water after a night of cool air and a sprinkling of dew. Pop the stems into a bucket of water as soon as you cut them.
Use sharp secateurs and cut sprigs close to the main branch at a 45 degree angle. This will give you cut stems with a clean cut and also prevent the tree from being damaged. Never use scissors (or worse, try to snap the sprig by hand) as this will crush the woody stems and prevent water intake, as well as potentially harming the tree.
Blossom has woody stems which should be split 1-2 cm at the base with a sharp knife. This creates a greater surface area for water to be drawn up. Pop the stems into bucket of lukewarm water and store in a cool place for about 3 hours before arranging in a vase. Warm water molecules move faster than cold water molecules and so can be absorbed by flowers with greater ease.
Strip off any flowers or foliage that will be below the water level. Choose a vase that will support the stems but where the blossom will not be overcrowded. Blossom petals bruise very easily, so handle them carefully when arranging and touch the flowers as little as possible. Place the finished arrangement out of direct sunlight and away from draughts, to help the flowers last longer.
[Main photo: Dusky Pink Beehive Throw, The British Blanket Company]