Gradually he may add to this knowledge and learn that woody stems should be split or crushed at the tips to aid water intake, and that an inch or two of stems of flowers like poppies should be charred in a flame to seal in the juices.
Flower arrangers have many pet ideas, much too complicated for the purposes of this book, about substances to be put into water to prolong the life of cut flowers. Some of the commercial preservative preparations have been tested and approved by certain agricultural experiment stations.
The hot water system of conditioning, developed at one station, is extremely effective. This calls for 100° F. water, with three heaping teaspoons of sugar and two tablespoons of white distilled vinegar added to each quart of water. A paper collar around the blossoms will protect them from steam. Flowers are kept in a cool room, or refrigerator, for two or three hours. For most children this may not be suitable, but supervising adults can use their own judgment about that.