Searing Flower Stems

Sarah Raven recommends seating cut flower stems in boiling water for a few seconds to a minute to improve base life.

It sounds a little crazy to me – why would cooking the stems keep the flowers alive longer?? – but she swears by it, so I’m willing to give it a try.

I picked a handful of various flowers, including foxglove, chamomile (or something that looks like chamomile), snapdragon, and dianthus.

I collected 2 or 4 stems of each type of flower, 18 stems in all.

I evenly divided up the flowers, and performed the Sarah Raven method of searing the flower stems on nine of the eighteen stems. She says to boil water (using a tea kettle, for example), pour the boiling water into a mug, and then dip the cut ends of the flower stems in the boiling water for 10 seconds to a minute (longer for woodier stems).

This supposedly going to create more surface area on the stem to absorb water, and therefore the flowers will last longer. I’m skeptical….

I put all of the flowers back into the same vase, so they will all have the exact same water conditions.

I marked the seared ones with twist-ties.

I will report back in a week as to whether there was any difference in vase life between seared and unseared flowers.

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