this article in German
At the right is an arrangement
of waterlilies that we made to experiment with opening and closing
of the flowers in the house. By Day 3 all still opened but were
wilted. We had no sugar or Stafresh in the water.
Waterlilies As Cut Flowers
By Kit Knotts - Click images to enlarge
Waterlilies make wonderful cut flowers, either as part of
arrangements or on their own! Select first day flowers for cutting
and you can expect them to last three to five days, depending
on the varieties selected. Those with short stems can be floated
in bowls for a lovely effect. Long stemmed flowers can be kept
erect with floral wire. The life of cut flowers, including waterlilies,
can be extended using using a mild solution of sugar and water
or products made especially for the purpose such as Stafresh.
Unless "helped" with several methods described below,
the flowers will open and close as they would if still on the
plants. Both day and night bloomers will follow their usual schedule.
Dr. G.L. Thomas, Jr., in his book Garden Pools, Water-Lilies
and Goldfish (1958. D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc. p. 128), wrote:
"There are two sure ways of keeping blooms open. You
can place stems in a vase of ice water, and store them in the
refrigerator until time to use them as decorations. You will
find that they will then remain open for a few hours. Or you
can let the blooms unfold to their fullest before cutting them,
and then put a drop of melted paraffin or wax from a lighted
candle at the point where stamens, petals, and sepals join. Hardening
the paraffin or wax forms an unseen but sturdy cast which holds
blooms open. Either procedure keeps flowers at their loveliest
for three or four days, with no loss of luster or fragrance.
A word of caution: Water-lilies set out in this way as decoration
bear up well under heat and even a bit of handling, but a strong,
sustained draft of cold air will kill them. So don't set them
directly in front of an air-conditioning unit."
We have experimented with both methods and find the wax method
messy and not particularly effective but others, perhaps more
adept, find it successful. The frig method works pretty well,
better with some varieties than others.