How to Make Your Fresh Cut Flowers Last Longer

fresh cut flowersFresh cut flowers are more than just a beautiful addition to your home.

In fact, some research suggests that fresh flowers can boost your emotional health, aid in memory, and more.

But when they start to wilt just days after you purchase them, you’ll be left with a mess and a waste of money.

You could opt for fake or homemade flower alternatives. But if you love real, fresh blooms, these may not do the trick.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to help prolong the freshness of your blooms, allow you to enjoy them even longer.

Keep reading to learn how to make the most of your investment in fresh cut flowers and keep them fresh as long as possible.

Start With Fresh Flowers

Where you buy your flowers will affect how long they last.

Supermarket flowers could already be weeks old by the time you buy them. This means much less time for you to enjoy them in your home before they wilt.

Buying them fresh from a place like will give you blooms that stay fresh longer, helping you make the most of your purchase.

Care for Your Flowers Right Away

When you bring fresh cut flowers home, the best thing you can do to keep them fresh is to care for them right away.

Take them out of their wrapping, and follow the rest of the care tips on this list right away. Leaving them to sit for too long will only cause them to wilt faster.

If you’re taking flowers to someone, it’s better to deliver them in a vase with water, rather than wrapped, to keep them looking fresh and new.

Cut Stems at an Angle

When you first bring your fresh cut flowers home, the first thing you need to do is trim the stems.

To reopen up the stem of the flower so that it can take in water and any additives you add to it, make a cut one to two inches above the bottom of the stem. Because the flower stems will lose water as you cut them, it’s best to submerge them in water as you make the cut.

Finally, cut the stems at a slight angle. This will give the bottom of your stems a larger surface area, which means more access to water and additives.

Recut your stems every few days to ensure that your stems can continue to absorb the water and additives.

Pick the Right Vase

The shape and size of the vase you put your flowers in might not seem like an important factor in keeping your flowers fresh. But it’s actually very important.

Choosing a vase that is too short or wide at the mouth will cause your stems to bend and sag. This will weaken them, shortening the life of your flowers.

At the same time, a vase that is too narrow for your bouquet might restrict each stem’s access to the water supply.

Once you choose the right vase, it’s time to prepare it.

Cleaning your vase with soap or rinsing it with a small amount of bleach will help kill any bacteria that can affect the freshness of your flowers.

Use Warm Water (But Not Too Much!)

Once you’ve trimmed your stems, chosen a vase, and cleaned it, it’s time to add water.

But before you turn on the tap, consider your water source and temperature.

While tap water will do when nothing else is available, minerals in the water can affect your flowers and shorten their lifespan. Distilled water may prolong your flowers’ freshness.

The water you add to your vase should be warm or room-temperature. Fill only the bottom inch or two of your vase. Only the tips of the stems of your flowers will take in the water. Pouring too much into the vase will submerge the rest of the stems, and can weaken them, or promote the growth of bacteria.

To keep your water fresh and cut down on bacteria, you should change the water in your vase every other day.

Add Flower Food, or Sugar and Vinegar

That little packet of flower food that comes tied to the flower bouquets you buy at many stores? Its promise of keeping your flowers fresh for longer is no gimmick.

The ingredients in this food might sound like the opposite of what you’d want to expose your flowers to. Most flower food packets contain a mix of sugar, bleach, and an acidifier.

But sugar is actually a great nutrient, while bleach helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and the acidifier helps to maintain the water’s pH level and improve the stems’ ability to soak up the water and nutrients.

If your fresh cut flowers didn’t come with a handy packet of flower food, don’t fret. You can make your own blend with a sprinkle of sugar and a tiny amount of bleach and vinegar.

Whether you use flower food or your own blend, don’t overdo it. When you change the water in your vase, remember to add flower food again.

Prune, Prune, Prune

When petals start to shrivel up or a stem or two dies, it can be tempting to throw out the bouquet. But with a little care, you can save the rest of your flowers and enjoy your bouquet a bit longer.

When dead pedals or stems start appearing, carefully prune them. Remember to keep recutting your stems and changing out the water and flower food in your vase as well.

Skip the Gimics

There are tons of crazy gimmicks out there that promise to keep your flowers fresh. From adding pennies to the vase to complicated concoctions, each one sounds crazy, and most won’t help keep your cuts fresh.

Instead, stick to the basics on this list to enjoy your bouquet for as long as possible.

Choose the Right Location

Potted plants may need sunshine to thrive. But your fresh cut flowers don’t. In fact, sunshine, as well as heat from vents or from the outside, can cause your flowers to wilt faster.

Keep your vase of flowers in a cool spot, away from the direct light of windows. To keep your flowers fresher for even longer, put them in the fridge overnight.

Keep Your Fresh Cut Flowers Fresh

With a little consideration and care, you can keep your flowers fresh for longer. Whether you’re looking to make the most of your investment or just want to enjoy your beautiful blooms longer, the tips on this list are essential.

If you want to enjoy the beauty and appeal of fresh plants without having to buy flowers again and again, check out this guide for planting your own succulent garden!

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