in HortScience
Authors: Lane Greer1 and A. E. Einert1
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Forestry, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701

The frequency of purchase of cut flowers is influenced by the vase life of the stems in the consumer's home. We are attempting to find a preservative solution made of common household products to extend the vase life of cut roses. We conducted a survey of local garden club members to find what recipes they use. We compared several home recipes against three commercial preservatives and tap water. Two treatments were better than plain tap water: 1) a mixture of 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1 aspirin tablet (325 mg), and 1 tablespoon sugar in 700 ml of water; and 2) a mixture of 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 tablespoon bleach in 700 ml of water. These treatments yielded a vase life of 9 and 8.3 days, respectively, as compared to 2.3 days for water. These treatments also proved clearly better than the three commercial preservatives tested. Changing plain water daily did not appreciably extend vase life over allowing water to remain for the entire life of the following stem. We found no relationship between water uptake and vase life; however, solution pH below 5.0 was necessary for extended vase life.