One of the joys of having a flower garden is cutting your own bouquets. When you look at the price of store bought bouquets a cutting garden can also save you lots of money.
There are many great choices for cut flowers for the High Plains including dahlias, sweet peas, zinnias, snapdragons, sunflowers, black-eyed Susan’s, lilies, daisies, roses, and gladiolas. Cut flowers last longer if you harvest them in the morning and cut the stem at a slant. For hollow stemmed flowers, hold the flower up side down and fill the stem with water. Flowers with milky sap are best preserved if burnt at the cut end before placing in a vase of water. Roses are best cut as soon as a second petal unfurls.
Make sure your vases are well cleaned prior to using. Stains in vases can be bacteria that infect the stems and block the water uptake to the flowers. To clean, fill the vase with hot water and add a few drops of household bleach. filling the vase with water and adding a few drops of household bleach. Soak the vase a few hours and then rinse well.
Also, change the water daily to your bouquet or add a preservative to the water for a longer-lived bouquet. Preservatives are available at florist outlets. Keep cut flowers in a cool location, out of direct sunlight for a longer life.