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Hydration Hint: Dahlias

I have a little tip to share with you today, now that we're heading full steam into dahlia season.

Just as all flowers need to rest and hydrate after we bring them home, dahlias come in from the water-less car in need of an extra-long soak. So before you cut their ends and dump your flowers in a bucket or vase to sit, go one simple step further and your flowers will last dramatically longer.

This is where a tea kettle comes in handy.

That's right. We're boiling their water first. So fill that kettle up and set it on the stove. While that puppy is heating find yourself a thick, glass vase. If your glass vase is too thin the sudden temperature change of the boiling water may cause it to burst.

Once that kettle starts whistling, pour the boiling water into your vase. You don't need to fill it all the way to the top. In fact, the boiled stems will change color slightly, so if you're planning to display your dahlias with their stems exposed, only pour a couple inches of boiling water, and you can chop the discolored ends off later. (Note that you don't have to chop the discolored parts of the stems off afterward. They're perfectly healthy, unlike rotten stems.)

After you set your kettle back on the stove, cut your dahlia stems per usual, (at a sharp angle), and set them in. Leave them in this water over night if you can, but at the very least 2 hours.

If you have a lot of stems, be sure to space them out so the steam doesn't get trapped on their petals and cause them to rot.

Next day you can arrange them in new water or relocate them to a standard bucket to be stored in a flower cooler. Any temperature of water now will do.

It's that easy. Give it a try and see how long you can help your dahlias last!

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