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What Is In Those Mysterious Flower Food Packets?

Here's how to fawn-a over your flora longer.

If you've ever gotten a bouquet, you may have also received a mystery packet of powdered plant food.

These packets typically contain three ingredients: citric acid, sugar, and — believe it or not — bleach.

Homemade Flower Preservative

1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon household bleach
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
1 quart lukewarm water

But not everyone uses the packets: A disinfected vase can boost longevity, too.

"We find it's best to simply trim the stems of cut flowers and place them into a sterilized vase," said Suzanna Cameron, owner of Stems Brooklyn. Just clean the vase with bleach and water before putting in your blossoms, and voilà! Your flora will look fresher, longer.

Cameron also suggests changing the water and sterilizing the vase daily to keep the flowers at their prime. And be sure to keep them in the shade with cool water, not in direct sunlight or warm H2O (unless you want to "push" them to open up faster, she said).

Now you know what's going on when you stop and smell (or eat) the roses.