Plants & Flowers

How To Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

How To Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

Photography, Alex Seinet,

Plants & Flowers

How To Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

Yes, you can buy yourself flowers. But can you make them last?

Don’t despair—with the right care, you can extend the life of your bouquet and enjoy the vibrant colours and fragrances for longer. 

Here are some expert tips to help you make your cut flowers last.

1. Choose Fresh Flowers

The longevity of cut flowers starts with the ones you choose:

  • Look for firm petals and vibrant colours. Avoid flowers with wilting petals or brown edges.
  • Check the stems. They should be firm and green, not slimy or discoloured.
  • Buy local. Flowers that haven’t travelled far are often fresher.

2. Prepare the Vase and Water


Cleanliness is crucial to prevent bacterial growth:

  • Wash your vase with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
  • Use fresh, lukewarm water. Add a floral preservative (they come with many bouquets, but you can get them at your nearest flower shop), as it contains essential nutrients and antibacterial agents.

3. Trim the Stems

Proper trimming is essential for water absorption:

  • Cut stems at an angle under running water. This increases the surface area for water uptake prevents air bubbles from entering and blocking the water channels.
  • Use sharp scissors or a knife. A clean cut prevents crushing the stem.

4. Remove Lower Leaves

Leaves submerged in water can rot and promote bacterial growth:

  • Strip leaves that are below the waterline. This keeps the water cleaner.

5. Position Wisely

Where you put your bouquet affects how long your flowers will last:

  • Avoid direct sunlight and heat, which can cause flowers to wilt quickly.
  • Keep away from drafts and fruit. Drafts can dehydrate flowers, and fruits release ethylene gas that speeds up ageing.

6. Maintain Your Flowers



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Regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your cut flowers:

  • Change the water every 2-3 days. Clean the vase and add fresh water and preservatives.
  • Re-trim the stems under water regularly. This ensures they continue to absorb water efficiently.
  • Mist the flowers. Spraying the petals lightly with water can keep them hydrated.

7. Special Care for Specific Flowers

Different flowers have upkeep needs:

  • Roses: Remove the outer petals and place in deep water. Cut the stems under water.
  • Tulips: They continue to grow after being cut, so keep them in a tall vase with cool water and cut stems regularly.
  • Lilies: Remove the pollen sacs to prevent staining and extend the bloom time.

8. Use Home Remedies

If you don’t have floral preservatives, you can make your own:

  • Lemon-lime soda: Mix one part soda to three parts water for a sugar and acid boost.
  • Apple cider vinegar and sugar: Add two tablespoons of each to a quart of water.
  • Aspirin: Crush one tablet and dissolve it in the water to lower the pH and deter bacteria.





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Plants & Flowers

How To Make Cut Flowers Last Longer