Not all sunflowers are created equal. Different varieties have different needs, and some will tolerate the shipping process better than others. To maximize your chances of saving a flower that’s been damaged, it’s essential to identify your flower to determine its tolerance for the elements.
Sunflowers belong to the genus helianthus, which contains different species. But since most commercially grown sunflowers are hybrids, it’s not always easy to tell what kind of plant you have by looking at it. The best way is to look at its growing conditions. If you bought your flowers at a supermarket or home improvement store, where they sell them as potted plants, they’re likely one of these varieties:
- Velvet Queen: The Velvet Queen has dark green leaves and red-tipped petals surrounding its bright yellow center. It grows well in containers or the garden and blooms from early summer until fall.
- Italian White: The White Italian sunflower is an annual plant with white petals surrounding a black center. This variety grows well in containers and has large blooms that make great cut flowers.
- The Lemon Queen sunflower is also an annual plant with yellow petals surrounding a reddish.
The delivery person has come and gone, and you’ve received a welcome bouquet of sunflowers. Before you get to the business of arranging them in a vase, consider these three factors to make sure they last as long as possible:
Verify That They Aren’t Too Wet
If they are, cut each stem an inch or two lower than you usually would and discard any leaves that would be underwater in the vase. Leaving these parts underwater will cause rotting. If a few stems seem dry, it’s okay to keep them dry for a while so that they don’t mold in your vase.
Cut the Stems on an Angle
Doing this widens the area where the stems can absorb water. If you have a sharp knife or clippers, that’s even better because it creates a cleaner cut but if not, don’t worry! Just use whatever sharp utensil is at your disposal.
Put Them in Fresh Water
The water that came with your delivery may not have any additives to keep it fresh, so you should always replace it with clean water from your tap (unless there’s an instruction on the box that says otherwise).
Sunflowers are very sensitive to their environment, including the climate they’re grown and how long they’ve been out of the ground. When you receive your sunflowers from a florist or other delivery service, they’ll likely have been handled many times, including being packaged and shipped, leading to dehydration. You’ll need to consider this when you decide where to put them after receiving them: if they’re too dry, they won’t last long enough for you to enjoy; mold may develop if they’re too wet.
How Much Are You Paying?
The first thing you need to know is how much you’re paying for your sunflowers. While some companies offer free delivery services, this isn’t always the case, and if you’re paying a lot of money for the flowers, you should be getting them delivered in excellent condition.
What Is Your Budget?
Most delivery companies charge a flat fee per delivery, but some will charge based on the size of your order or even the number of flowers involved. If you have a limited budget, it’s essential to find out what each company charges so that you don’t get stuck paying more than necessary.
Where to Place Them
Sunflowers are best placed near windows or doors that receive a lot of sunlight since they need this light to stay healthy. If you put them somewhere else in your home, such as on an end table or in the corner of the room, they’ll likely wilt more quickly than if they were placed near a window or door that receives sunlight throughout the day.
How Long Have They Been in the Box?
Sunflowers will last longer if you remove them from their packaging as soon as possible. If you leave them in their box for several days, they may lose some of their colors and even die.
The Condition of the Sunflowers
If they are wet, you can put them in a plastic bag and put them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. If they are dry, you can place a damp paper towel around them and place them in the dark for 48 hours.
If your sunflowers are not in good condition, it may be best to avoid re-saving them. For example, if they’re wilted or crushed, it’s probably not worth the effort. Instead, consider buying new ones from another source.
Sunflowers are beautiful flowers by nature, but the conditions in which they’ve been stored can take a toll on them. Depending on how long they’ve been sitting and the specific needs of their storage, the appearance of the flowers can vary from looking like they’ve just been cut from the field to wilted and spent. The first step is to assess what you’re working with. If your sunflowers are still looking bright and energetic, you need to give them some fresh water, trim their stems, and place them in a vase. However, if they’re starting to droop or look wilted, it’s essential to take specific steps to revive them before arranging them in a vase.
Sunflowers are naturally very thirsty flowers, so one of the first things to do when rejuvenating your buds is to submerge their entire stems in fresh water for several hours. This will allow the flowers time to soak up as much water as possible. Be sure that you keep a close eye on them, though the longer they stay submerged, the more likely it is that they’ll start turning colors!