How To Keep Sunflowers Fresh In 2 Easy Steps

There are two steps for learning how to keep sunflowers fresh. If you know how to care for cut sunflowers, you can apply some similar techniques. Remember that sunflowers’ proper care will allow you to enjoy them for up to 15 days after cutting. 

Sunflowers can grow similar to the full season crops you have in the garden or greenhouse. Therefore, they are available year-round, and knowing how to keep sunflowers fresh will put you at an advantage, florist or not. Perhaps the main takeaway to remember upon getting sunflowers is to place them in water immediately. 

 

How To Keep Sunflowers Fresh In 2 Easy Steps

Comprehensive Guide On How To Keep Sunflowers Fresh

 

Step #1. Cut

 

Sanitation

Before anything else, you must sanitize the tools you’ll need to cut and keep the sunflowers. Remember that one of the most significant culprits that can wilt your sunflowers fast is dirty or infected shears and vases. You can create a sanitizing solution using bleach and water and let the items air dry. 

 

Timing

When is the best time to cut sunflowers? Timing also plays a role in the longevity of your flowers. You want to check your sunflowers and cut them right before the petals open entirely. 

Depending on your location, sunflowers bloom in late summer, so you want to cut right before this time. You can also grow sunflowers in the greenhouse to make timing easier to catch. Either way, collect the sunflowers early in the morning, right after the petals dry down. 

Cutting in the afternoon will put the flowers at risk of wilting due to the warm temperature.

 

Preparation

Speaking of wilting, you want to ensure that the ground they are in is moist, so water them thoroughly on the night before picking them. Otherwise, you will collect flowers that will wilt quickly since they haven’t soaked up enough water from the ground. Choosing early in the morning when their dew has dried down will ensure fresh sunflowers for keeping. 

 

Step #2. Place in water

 

Soaking

The next step for keeping sunflowers fresh is merely placing them in water. However, it’s worth emphasizing that not all sunflowers make excellent cut flowers. Cornell University recommends varieties that don’t produce pollen to avoid staining. 

Upon getting the flowers, you want to place them in a bucket with warm tap water around 100 to 110°F to prevent wilting. This way, you can immediately hydrate them and avoid the danger of shock after cutting. However, be aware that you want to cut each stem at a 45-degree angle to make soaking easier. 

You can bring the conditioned sunflowers indoors or in the greenhouse to protect them from the outdoor conditions. Remember that direct sunlight can dry and damage the cut sunflowers.

 

Caring in the vase

How to transfer cut sunflowers into a vase? You can mix cool water and preservatives and add them to a vase. However, remember to follow the mixing instructions diligently because overdosing can damage the sunflowers, and underdosing would be ineffective in preserving them. The solution should provide energy, help with hydration, balance the water’s pH level, and prevent microbial growth that can cause stem clogs. 

Once again, you also want to cut an inch at an angle on each stem’s bottom to help with absorption. Cut them while still being in the water using a sharp knife and remove all the leaves at the bottom portion of the stems. This way, no leaf will get wet and encourage diseases. 

Maintaining sunflowers in a vase will be as easy as replacing the water mixture every two days. Still, some gardeners use the solution for several hours only and use plain water instead. Either way, you want to prevent bacteria’s growth, so changing the water daily would also be optimal. 

You can also recut the stems and place the vase somewhere out of drafts or direct sunlight.

 

How To Harvest Sunflower Seeds

If you harvest sunflowers and you want to get the seeds, the process is relatively simple. You just let the flowers dry, so the seeds become loose and easy to remove. Then, cut the head off and lie it on a flat surface.

You can catch the seeds with a bowl and pull them off the plant. To make the removal more comfortable, you can rub the head with your hand or any material with a corrugated surface. Another effortless way to harvest is by hanging the sunflower heads upside down as they dry. 

After collecting the seeds, rinse and drain them well before placing in paper towels and newspaper. Let them dry at room temperature to prevent mold growth and check back on them the following day. You can put them in a paper envelope before sealing it in a plastic container. 

Store the seeds somewhere cool and dry, and they should be ready to germinate for the next season. 

 

Conclusion

Sunflowers effortlessly make any area livelier. Don’t we all want to know how to keep sunflowers fresh? You can always grow the sunflowers in the greenhouse, but you should also keep them fresh in a vase if you have cut ones. 

Simply time your cutting in the morning and immediately soak your sunflowers. Afterward, prepare a solution of cool water and preservatives for the vase. Change this mix daily to slow down the growth of bacteria and keep your sunflowers fresh. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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