Extend The Life Of Your Dahlias With This Smart Gardening Hack

Extend The Life Of Your Dahlias With This Smart Gardening Hack

Dahlias are the perfect flowers for cutting and arranging in a vase of water. They have colorful blooms with perfectly formed flower heads and intricate patterns of petals, which create an interesting and beautiful floral display to enjoy in your home. The best thing about dahlias is that they are perennials, which means they often grow back year after year, depending on your growing zone, so you can enjoy them again and again.

However, dahlias don’t last as long as many other cut flowers in a vase of water and may need to be composted in as little as 3 days after cutting. Normally, they can last for around 4-5 days, but if you’re lucky, you may get to enjoy them for up to 11 days with some varieties. According to horticulturist and botanist Andrew Gaumond (via Eating Well), after having its stem cut, a flower still has its basic respiratory functions. However, due to the fact that they are no longer able to photosynthesize, they will begin to die off. The flowers begin to wilt due to dehydration, which is why it’s so important to put cut flowers into water straight away in order to prolong what life they have left.

If you want to extend the life of your cut dahlias, you can try a trending gardening hack that involves bathing the cut stems in boiling hot water. Here’s how to do it, along with Gaumond’s advice on whether it really works.

How to extend the life of dahlias


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Eastolivia demonstrates this hack in her TikTok video. Start by cleaning the stems of your dahlias, especially below the water-line. Next, take a clean pair of shears and cuts the stems at a 45 degree angle below the water-line. Grab a clean vase and line it with paper towels to protect the petals from steam. You’re going to add a couple of inches of boiling water to your paper-lined vase. The hot water is thought to disrupt bacteria and extend the life of your dahlias. Finally, just wait for this water to cool to room temperature, and once it has cooled, take a new vase, add fresh water and a little flower food, and then add in your beautiful dahlias.

Gaumond suggests that hot water may be effective in killing bacteria or unclog the stems of a fresh cut flower, allowing them to absorb water more effectively. However, he doesn’t recommend using boiling water because of the risk of shock to the flower that could lead to a rapid loss of petals and wilting. Instead, he advises that warm water is better than cold. We recommend cutting garden flowers in the morning or early evening when the stalks are filled with water, and use warm water between 80° and 110°F. This is because there is more oxygen present in cold water that can cause air bubbles to form in the stems of your flowers, and this will block their water absorption.

✿ Read More About Flowers.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.