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Make Fresh Flowers Last With Household Items

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A fresh bouquet of flowers will brighten up any room, especially if they last. Surprisingly, a number of household items will help do the trick. Here are a few interesting products and tips that can help your blooms stay fresh longer.

First, cut your stems with a knife instead of scissors. "The gauge on scissors is set for paper or fabric, not for flower stems, which are bulkier," reports CBS News. "Using scissors will crush their vascular systems and prevent proper water uptake."

Then it's all about what you put in your water. Dissolved aspirin is a tried and true method to keeping your flowers fresh, but lemon-lime soda can work too. Mix one part of the soda with three parts water. Then add 1/4 teaspoon of household bleach per quart, which will help the water stay clear.

Lemon juice is another great ingredient to put in your vase. CBS News says to mix 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or ReaLemon brand lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of bleach in a quart of warm water. Another 1/4 teaspoon of bleach can be added to the vase water every four days.

One of the strangest products that will help your bouquet last is Listerine. According to Plantea.com, just 2 ounces of the mouthwash added to every gallon of water will act as plant food and create a bacteria-fighting environment for the flowers. It's also acidic like many of the other solutions, which helps water move up cut stems.

For super long-lasting flowers, though, you may want to invest in a household plant. With a little TLC and proper care, you could have it for months, if not years, depending on the variety. If you have a black thumb, make sure you avoid overwatering, which is the number one killer of houseplants. Give it sufficient light, plant food when necessary, and watch out for pests. Of course, these are just general rules to follow. Read up on your plant variety and research the best way to suit its needs, and you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of having a little greenery in your home.

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