Making flowers last longer

A beautiful arrangement of flowers is the quickest way to brighten up a room. Whether it’s an upgraded version of supermarket flowers, a delivery from someone special or blooms picked from the backyard, pretty petals can completely transform a space.

How to keep your flowers looking fresh

Sept. 8, 201700:36

Getting those flowers to stay fresh is also easier than you think! We’ve got five tricks you can use to make sure those beauties blossom for as long as possible. Check out our video here and follow the steps below to bring a little bit of the garden into your living room.

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1. Be sure to cut about 1 inch from the bottom of the stems and remove any leaves that will be under the water line in your vase.

2. Place flowers in cold water and change out the water every couple of days to keep it fresh.

3. While you’re changing out the water, re-cut the stems.

4. Make some DIY plant food to nourish your budding bouquet. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of white sugar and add the mixture to the water before replacing the plants.

5. If your flowers start to wilt, place them in warm water for 30 minutes. This trick only works with non-bulb flowers, but it can perk up sagging stems in a pinch.

If all else fails, opt for one of these nearly indestructible plants!

If you’re using an old vase, wash it thoroughly because “whatever’s left over from your last batch of flowers has a lot of bacteria in it,” said Chris Wien, a professor emeritus of horticulture at Cornell University. Those bacteria block water flow in the flowers’ stems, causing your blooms to wilt sooner.

Right away, cut off half an inch to an inch of the stems at a diagonal, using sharp scissors or a knife. Make sure to cut “in a tub or under running water, which prevents air bubbles from getting into the stems and blocking the flow of water,” said Amy Jo Detweiler, an associate professor of horticulture at Oregon State University. Remove any leaves or florets that would sit in the water, because those will cause bacterial buildup.

A Little Tender Loving Care

Ideally, you should first put your flowers in water around 110 degrees (and your additives, of choice), and then keep the vase in a cool place for at least a couple of hours. This process, called “hardening” or “conditioning,” helps because warm water molecules move up the stems more quickly, while a cool environment minimizes water loss through the flowers’ petals and leaves.

Though you might intuitively want to place flowers by a window, direct sunlight can actually stress cut flowers more than helping them — remember, your blossoms are not really photosynthesizing anymore so they don’t need sun to make food. Normal indoor lighting works just fine.

Change the water at least once a week, recutting the stems and adding more preservative or food each time.

What Didn’t Work

In total, I kept my flowers for 10 days. Every day I randomly shuffled the flowers around, to ensure that positioning wouldn’t explain the outcomes. On Day 5, I fully replaced the water and treatments for each vase.

So how did my treatments fare? In theory, soda, vinegar and aspirin should acidify the water so it more closely resembles the sap inside plant cells, helping the flowers take up fluid more easily. Vodka is thought to inhibit the production of ethylene, a gaseous hormone that causes flowers to mature and fruits to ripen. Copper, bleach and vinegar are antibacterial, and refrigerating should slow water loss and the breakdown of tissues.

How to Make Your Fresh Flower Bouquet Last Longer

Before trying these hacks, properly prep your flowers. Start by removing any leaves that will fall below the water line. Place a rubber band around your flowers to keep them at the same length for easier prep.

Cut the Stems

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After you’ve removed any excess leaves, trim the stems. Use a kitchen knife or scissors and simply cut the stems to the desired length. This fresh cut allows the stems to “drink” the water and will keep them fresh longer. Next, choose one of the following hacks to add even more longevity to your bouquet.

More Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas

Change the Water Daily

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Adding fresh water to your vase daily will keep blooms fresh. Empty the vase, rinse it if there’s any slimy residue, and fill with fresh water and your preferred method of flower freshener.

A Penny

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One penny placed in the bottom of a vase is said to keep flowers fresh. Why does it work? The copper in the penny is thought to inhibit bacteria growth. This trick works in a pinch and is super simple — assuming you have a penny laying around.

White Vinegar + Sugar

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Flowers need sugar for food, but sugar can encourage bacteria growth. You can use one teaspoon of sugar or one teaspoon of white vinegar to keep your blooms fresh, or you can combine them to get the best of both worlds and even longer-lasting blooms. My recommendation is one teaspoon of vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar dissolved in the water.

Refrigerator

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Place your bouquet in the refrigerator overnight to keep flowers cool. This inhibits bacterial growth and replicates what florists do. Put fresh water in the vase before placing it in the refrigerator, and you’ll find that your blooms last a little longer.

Flower Food

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The best way to keep flowers fresh longer is to dissolve a packet of flower food in the water. It works because it contains a bacteria inhibitor and a sugar to “feed” the flowers. Just empty the packet in the water, stir to dissolve, and place your flowers in your vase.

There’s nothing quite like a vase of fresh flowers to lift and refresh the home. But unfortunately, most fresh cut flowers don’t last very long.

The secret to keeping cut flowers looking good for as long as possible is to minimise the growth of bacteria in the water and to provide nourishment to replace what the flowers would have gotten had they not been cut.

This is why bouquets often come with sachets which usually contain a mild disinfectant and sugar. But there are many other ways you can stop your flowers wilting and drooping after only a few days.

Cut flowers will also last longer if the stems are prepared correctly, as preparing the stems helps them take up water quickly. Cut about half an inch of the end, at a forty-five degree angle.

MORE: 32 ALTERNATIVE FLOWER ARRANGING IDEAS

Don’t use dull scissors as they could crush the stem instead! For best results, try cutting the stems underwater (in a sink filled with cold water), as this will prevent air from getting into the veins in the stem of yor flower.

You’ll also want to place the stems in deep water and leave them there for a few hours before moving them into shallower water.

Once you’ve filled up your vase, be sure to remove all leaves from the part of the stem that’s under water – this not only helps the flowers but also keeps the water cleaner.

To prevent an airlock in flowers like tulips, pierce the stems with a needle a few times.

MORE: 15 GORGEOUS IDEAS FOR FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS

Once you’ve got your cut flowers and vase at the ready, here are five ways to make your flowers last as long as possible – you’ll be surprised how long the arrangement stays fresh!

1. Vodka

Vodka inhibits bacteria growth so a few drops would help keep the water clean for fresh flowers, advises plant expert Jane Earthy.

2. Lemonade

The sugar in the lemonade nourishes the plants and will make the blossoms last longer, says horticultural expert Peter Burks.

If you have a clear vase and want the water to remain clear, use a clear lemonade like Sprite or 7Up. A teaspoon of sugar works just as well, advises Jane Earthy.

MORE: 15 GORGEOUS FLOWER ARRANGING IDEAS FOR SPRING

3. Pennies

The copper in pennies works as an acidifier and inhibits bacteria, explains Jane Earthy.

Putting a copper coin in the bottom of a vase can help your tulips stand strong, rather than drooping around the vase, confirms plant expert Katie Gilbert.

4. Boiling hot water

Yes, really! You can help roses and hydrangeas last longer by cutting the stem at an angle and then pouring boiling water over the fresh cut ends, before putting into the vase, says horticulturalist Nikki Hollier.

5. Aspirin

Put a crushed aspirin in the water before adding your flowers to keep them looking fresh and perky.

MORE: 5 FABULOUS DECORATING IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR WALLS WONDERFUL

MORE: HOW TO PLANT A JAPANESE INSPIRED GARDEN

(Images: Getty)

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This 3-Ingredient DIY Flower Food Makes Bouquets Last (Almost) Forever

If there’s one design tip I’ve picked up while living in New York City, it’s that a bouquet of flowers instantly elevates a space—no matter how small. When I invite friends over for drinks, I’ll put together a simple glass vase of white and green hydrangeas in my living room for a touch of elegance. And sometimes, after a stressful week, I’ll pick up bundles of dusty pink roses from the corner bodega. I like to make little arrangements using stemless wine glasses and dot them throughout my apartment to create a relaxed, yet sophisticated vibe.

There’s just one downside to buying bouquets: In a matter of a few days, they go from bright and beautiful to sad and withering. Hence, flower food was born—you know, those little packets that come wrapped up in the rubber band of a grocery store bouquet. A sprinkle of the stuff can work like a magical anti-aging serum (you know, the really expensive kind) for days-old flowers. But what do you do when you don’t have any?

Well, according to Christina Stembel, the founder of Farmgirl Flowers, there’s a simple DIY solution hiding in your kitchen. We spoke with Stembel to get her secret-sauce formula, plus tips on keeping your favorite flowery arrangements flourishing.

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EA: What type of flower food do you use for your bouquets?

CS: When we first started making flower food, we followed an older recipe from Martha Stewart (the queen!). Since then, we’ve made a few tweaks to suit our production and the ingredients we have on hand. The formula goes like this:

1 gallon of water
+
4 teaspoons bleach
+
4 teaspoons vinegar
+
4 tablesppons sugar

Here’s how you can scale that down: 1 quart water, 1 teaspoon bleach, 1 teaspoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon sugar.

EA: Is adding flower food the best method for keeping bouquets fresher, longer?

CS: This is a question we get a lot. The truth is flower food is most effective for flowers that are fresh cut. As the flowers age, they still get a boost from this DIY food (don’t we all with a little sugar!); the bleach component also helps to kill bacteria as it’s generated in the vase. (Replacements like lemon juice or vinegar will do the same.) But there are actually a few simple steps you can take to ensure freshness that are more effective than food.

Still playing – now on to Winter Whites! Im usually inspired by more saturated palettes, but the hint of blush, blue, and butter paired with the cool white are kinda getting me with this one… ❄️✨#fgflove

A post shared by farmgirlflowers (@farmgirlflowers) on Aug 19, 2018 at 10:22am PDT

EA: Ohh, tell me about those.

CS: One, daily trims. Two, daily water changes. Three, keep your flowers in a cool location, out of direct sunlight and away from any heat sources. And finally, four, remove any stems as they die!

All of these tricks help prevent the accumulation of bacteria in the water, which will kill your flowers faster. Just like people, flowers don’t thrive when they’re drinking stagnant, dirty H20. Fresh water changes flush out any bacteria, and daily stem trims ensure the stems most effectively absorb the moisture. Pruning dead stems will remove sources of excessive bacteria—decaying flowers release bacteria into the water faster than fresher stems. Last, keeping your flowers out of extreme conditions will prevent them from dying faster and, as noted above, causing build up in their water source.

EA: Generally, how long do these methods extend the lifespan of the bouquet?

CS: This is really hard to say. Different flowers have different bloom lives. Some stems, like carnations, can last weeks. Others, like peonies, last sometimes as little as a few days. That said, proper care can ensure your bouquet lasts as many days as possible, and depending on the stems, up to a week!

EA: I’ve read that 7-up or Sprite also makes a good flower food—is that true?

CS: It can be! We still recommend a little bleach (in the same proportions as earlier stated), but when subbing soda in for sugar, go with one part clear soda to three parts water.

Remember, if you’re going this route do not use diet soda and make sure it’s a clear variety, like Sprite. Different types of colas or even ginger ale don’t work for this!

EA: Any other words of wisdom?

CS: We can’t overstate the importance of the water changes, stem trims, proper location, and removing dead stems. These will dramatically improve the life of your bouquet. We also recommend removing any foliage from the stem that falls below the waterline.

When you’re trimming the stems, time is of the essence: Put fresh cut stems back in the water ASAP after trimming. Once cut, the stems will begin to seal up. Delaying putting them in the vase will inhibit their ability to hydrate properly. We also strongly recommend using either a dark glass vase or ceramic vessel. Darker glass or ceramics won’t allow sunlight into the water, which can increase the rate at which the stems decay.

Last, clean your vase! It’s important to do this after removing a dying bouquet and right before you put a new one in it. A lot of people don’t consider the bacteria that can be in the vase before the bouquet goes in. A good rinse with warm water and soap will make sure the flowers have a clean start.

Another Quick Pick-Me-Up (for you!)

What’s your favorite way to keep bouquets looking fresh as a daisy? Tell us in the comments below!

How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh

Everyone loves having fresh flowers in their home, but it can be a real bummer when that bouquet you received from your significant other begins drooping after just three days. It’s even more difficult to keep your flowers looking perky and healthy when the weather is hot – especially without central air conditioning. However, there are a few ways to preserve those flowers for a few extra days:

Put Cut Flowers in the Refrigerator

Nobody is marveling at the beauty of your bouquets overnight, so stick them in the refrigerator! Like putting your fruits and veggies in the fridge keeps them fresher longer, the same goes for your flowers. Think about it – florists tend to store their flowers in large fridges, so why wouldn’t the same concept work for you? Clean out an area of your fridge and keep your bouquet fresh for up to four days longer than a non-treated bouquet!

Drop A Penny in the Flower Vase

Copper is a known antibacterial agent, and the bacteria that multiplies in the water is a contributor to the breakdown of cut flowers. Simply putting a penny in the vase protects the flowers from some of the bacteria, keeping them fresh for longer. Pairing this method with the refrigerator, your flowers will stay fresher for days.

Don’t Place Cut Flowers in Direct Sunlight

While your flowers need a little bit of sunlight, we tend to overestimate how much is necessary. They aren’t actively growing anymore, so sunlight isn’t as beneficial as it is when the flowers are still rooted in the ground. When you have cut flowers, their needs change – with temperature being a much bigger factor. For example, putting your flowers on a windowsill with direct sunlight tends to be hot. As you can deduce from the fact that your fridge keeps your flowers fresh, supplying them with extra heat won’t. Not only will this sun make the water deplete quicker, but it can even cause the vibrant colors on the petals fade as well. You should keep your bouquet away from heating vents too and away from the fruit that you keep on the counter – the gases released from the fruit can cause some flowers to wilt quicker.

Maintain Your Cut Flowers

Something as simple as trimming the stems every couple of days can go a long way. This takes off the dying ends of the flowers, so they can absorb more water. Be sure to cut them diagonally. In addition, you should also change the water daily or every other day, depending on the state of the flowers. Use lukewarm water for regular flowers, but cold water for bulb flowers. Sterilize the vase between fills as well. If you have a variety bouquet, like A Little Pink Me Up, there’s a good chance that some of the flowers will die earlier than others. If this is the case, remove the dead ones and pick out the leaves that have fallen into the water. Eliminating these from the bouquet will limit the amount of bacteria in the water.

Don’t Use the Entire Flower Food Packet

If your bouquet came with a packet of food, don’t use it all at once. Every time you change the water, sprinkle a little bit more in. This flower food typically consists of sugar, an acidifier, and bleach. If your bouquet didn’t come with flower food, never fear! You can make your own with a little sugar, citrus juice, and bleach.

Just a little maintenance will keep your flowers looking brand new, letting you enjoy them for more days that you could have imagined!

There’s something soothing about coming home to a bouquet of fresh blooms on your dining table or in your living room, and the pop of color they add can spice up even the most mundane spaces. Now, with spring here, you can have your pick when it comes to the types of flowers you choose to decorate your home with—think tulips, peonies, ranunculus, or even roses.

That said, investing in a bouquet of flowers can be intimidating, especially if you’re not the best with plants. If you’re worried you’re just going to end up killing all your expensive florals the day after you bring them home, I get it—but luckily, there are several things you can do that will help them last longer. Let the experts guide the way.

Choose the Right Flowers.

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If you really want your flowers to last a long time, your first bet is picking them correctly. “There are some flowers that, in general, are sturdier, and they last longer than others,” says Samantha Maranca, founder of NYC-based floral company The Mini Rose Co. “Bulb flowers, such as tulips, hyacinth, and narcissus (daffodil) are very heat-sensitive, and therefore go through their life span a bit more quickly than others. A trick for these is adding ice cubes or very cold water, as warm water will hasten their life span. Lilies, ranunculus, orchids, and blooming branches typically last longer than other floral types.”

It’s also good to stick to just one or two types of flowers in a single bouquet, especially if you know you don’t have the time or patience to deal with the different care requirements of several kinds of blooms. “I suggest single-stem arrangements, which are just the same stem cut of the same variety of flower, and don’t incorporate any other,” says Brookelyn Roman of Scotts Flowers in New York City. “The reason for this is because these stems actually create their own biome in the water that they feed off of, but it might impact other flowers you bring into the bouquet.”

And of course, quality is key. “I feel like that goes without saying, but drugstore flowers obviously won’t last as long as the flowers you get from a speciality store,” says Roman. “Local is always best as well, since they’ll travel shorter distances to get to you.” Since flowers die once they’re picked, the shorter the distance traveled, the fresher the flower will be.

Trim the Stems Regularly.

You’ve heard it before, but changing your water really is key for making sure your flowers last as long as they possibly can. “Every two to three days is ideal,” says Maranca. “Everyone has an old wives’ tale about how to make your flowers last, but we find that fresh and ample water does wonders.”

Anna Cor-Zumbansen / EyeEmGetty Images

Another tip is to cut the stems off your flowers every time you change the water—but there’s a technique to this. “Preferably, you want to cut your stems under running water (warm, not hot) at an angle, because that will make sure they’re immediately hydrated—kind of like straws,” says Roman. “Use a sharp knife as opposed to scissors or a pruner to cut them.” The 45-degree angle will help the water get more easily absorbed and draw them up the stems, while the sharp cut will further allow more water to seep through.

As tempting as it might be to have your flowers by the window so that everyone can see your perfect petals, Maranca cautions against it. “Always keep flowers in a cool space, away from direct sunlight, if possible,” she says. It’s also best to avoid areas of high humidity, as those can affect flower health as well.

Pluck Out Wilting Blooms ASAP.

“All your flowers won’t last the same length of time,” says Roman. This can be due to multiple things, from quality to how easily they’ve been absorbing water, but one thing’s for sure: Once your flower has died, you need to remove it from the bouquet as soon as possible. “When a flower dies, it starts to release an odorless, invisible gas called ethelyne that’s actually harmful to living flowers,” Roman explains. So if you want your other flowers to last, you’d better act quickly.

Anna Cor-Zumbansen / EyeEmGetty Images

Another interesting tip? Buy flowers that are at the beginning of their blooming cycle. “Just remember you’re dealing with a living thing, so choosing flowers in the right point of development is key to longevity,” stresses Maranca. “If you’re having a same-day dinner party, getting flowers that are fully open is perfect. If you want something for your home or office for a full week, selecting flowers that are tighter and in an earlier stage of development might be a better plan.” Just think about how fun it’ll be to see your flowers slowly bloom every day!

While using just water is a fairly sufficient way to take care of flowers, if you’re really worried, Roman says you can create a solution for them to sit in. “The flowers have been removed from their source root, so they need the same kinds of nutrients that they would be getting from their source plant,” she elaborates. “So mostly this means adding sugar, which plants use to photosynthesize. You can buy these solutions or powders from a flower shop: They consist of sugar, citric acid, and a little bit of bleach.”

Just buy the packet, add a small amount to water, and make sure it’s dissolved—then, add your flowers to the vase. The sugar feeds the plant, the bleach helps to kill bacteria, and the citric acid balances the PH level of the water. Note that this isn’t entirely necessary, though, unless you’re using really delicate blooms.

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Just like getting rid of the hiccups, it seems everyone has a theory about how to keep flowers fresh longer. We took the five most popular theories and put them to the test — seven days in a controlled environment, under observation. It was like the hunger games, except with flowers.

The Setup

We started with five vases of the same FTD arrangement. In each vase, we put 1 FTD flower food packet along with 2 cups of lukewarm water. Then each vase received one of the tests: vodka, Sprite, apple cider vinegar & sugar, aspirin or the fridge.

Wondering the thought process on these crazy theories? There is some science behind them.

  • Vodka — Vodka, or any alcohol, may have a preserving effect halting ethylene production which is the gas that makes flowers wilt.
  • Sprite — Sprite makes the water more acidic, which means it can travel up the stem of the flower more quickly. Also, the sugar serves as food for the flower.
  • Apple cider vinegar & sugar — Vinegar acts as an antibacterial agent while the sugar serves as flower food.
  • Refrigerator — Cold temperature slows aging of the flower.
  • Aspirin — Aspirin may lower the pH of the water.

We changed out the water (and replenished the same ingredients into each vase) on day 3.
Here’s what happened:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Day Six

Day Seven

And the Losers Are…

It turns out, flowers react a lot like people.

Case in point: The vase with Sprite did fine on days 1 and 2 but started to fade on day 3 and was a slimy mess by day 5. The vase with the vodka also did fine on days 1 and 2 but looked droopy and had grayish stems by day 4. Compare the Sprite vase to a six-year-old with a sugar high; the vodka, to a college frat boy on a bender — and suddenly flower behavior makes a lot of sense.

Scientifically, sugar acts as a carb to feed the flower, but it encourages bacterial growth. Also rooted in science, alcohol does stop the production of ethylene, but flowers, like humans, can only handle a very low percentage of alcohol.

Aspirin — Despite many a study to see if aspirin works on flowers, no concrete conclusions have been made. This might be because mediocre results rarely stand out. We didn’t find the aspirin to have any preserving effects, though it did not kill the flowers faster, either.

Runner Up Is…

Apple Cider Vinegar & Sugar — Flowers need sugar as food. Sugar is a substantial ingredient in flower food packets. The problem is, sugar accelerates bacterial growth. And you get those gunky, slimy leaves around day 4 to prove it. The solution is to add an acid. Enter vinegar, the bacteria-fighting agent to combat any damage the sugar creates.

It’s the perfect pair, and the combo held its own in our survival-of-the-fittest trial.

The Winner Is…

Every night before hitting the hay, we put this vase of flowers in the fridge. They were typically in there for about eight hours. When we woke up, we took the flowers out and displayed them with the others on the dining room table. It seems such a simple solution, but it kept our flowers fresh well through day 7. It makes sense that florists keep their flowers inside a large refrigerator.

Though anchored in science, many of the theories only have an inkling of truth to them. Your best bet to keep your flowers alive longer is using the flower food packet that comes with your arrangement and placing them in the fridge overnight.

A question we get asked a lot a FloraQueen (and for good reason as it’s an important one) is how long do cut flowers last in a vase? Now of course every flower is a little different and each bouquet has its own characteristics but how long reasonably should your fresh flowers last?

Everyone always wants their bouquet to stay fresh and bountiful indefinitely. However like all good things, cut flowers don’t last forever. So what we’ve prepared are some helpful tips for understanding how long your flowers will remain at their best in the vase before nature takes effect.

To give you a bit of a clearer guide we’ve broken down different types of common cut flowers into separate categories of their maximum longevity. This way you can easily give yourself a reasonable window for the how long the flowers in your bouquet should last or even if you want to arrange your own bouquet at home.

Up to 1 week

  • Tulips
  • Daisies
  • Iris
  • Poppies
  • Sweet Peas

1 – 1 and Half Weeks

  • Gladiolas
  • Hydrangeas
  • Freesia
  • Lilies
  • Roses
  • Solidago
  • Peonies
  • Dahlia
  • Sunflowers

1-2 weeks

  • Alstroemeria
  • Gerberas
  • Bird of Paradise

2 weeks +

  • Carnations
  • Hypericum
  • Chrysanthemums

As you can see from the flowers we’ve listed the majority last about 1 week in the vase before they’ll start losing their freshness. Also many of the flowers that last a week or longer are the usual suspects of flower bouquets like roses, lilies, gerberas etc and that is no surprise as it is almost certainly the reason for their commercial success and use by experienced florists.

If you feel up to the challenge though, there are lots of things that you can do to ensure that your bouquet will last longer than its own natural sell-by-date.

Our top tips for keeping your bouquet bright and fresh for longer are:

  • Re cut the stems every day with clean scissors
  • Change the water daily
  • Keep the flowers in a cool area out of direct sunlight
  • Use plant food or add a little sugar to the vase
  • Keep leaves out of the water where possible
  • Make sure the water remains sterile by adding a tiny amount of bleach or even alcohol like vodka.

So as you can see if you pick your flowers carefully and follow just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to enjoy your bouquet for the longest possible time.
FloraQueen delivers flowers to over 100 countries worldwide. Working with expert florists in cities globally we are able to guarantee your bouquet will remain fresh for up to 7 days. Sending international flowers has never been easier and it only takes a couple of clicks.

If only there was a secret way to make flowers last longer.

There’s nothing more devastating than buying or receiving a beautiful bunch of flowers, only to see them wilt a few days later.

Many of us have developed our own technique when it comes to arranging flowers at home, but how many of us really know what we’re doing?

Today we’re going to share our top tips for making your beautiful flowers last as long as possible.

STOP! Before continuing, make sure you sign up to the Expert Home Tips newsletter to get all the best home hacks, living tips, competitions and more.

How to make flowers last longer

How gorgeous are those!

1.How to cut flower stems

Should you flower stems?

Absolutely. It’s important to cut the stems of your flowers, even if they’ve been bought fresh from a Florist.

Just as with a human wound, cut plants also try to ‘heal’ themselves. This means cut stems don’t stay cut for long, and when they begin to seal over, their capacity to absorb water and nutrients is reduced.

What’s the right way to cut flower stems?

Correct cutting of stems is said to extend flowers lifespans by up to 32 percent, so is definitely worth getting right

We recommend cutting stems underwater, as this helps to prevent air bubbles which allows the flowers to absorb more moisture.

For best results:

Cut the stems 1-2 inches from the end of the stem at a sharp angle using sharp scissors or shears.

2. Make flowers last longer by cutting them regularly

As your flowers continue to live in your vase, the stems will repeatedly ‘heal’ over.

Repeating the cutting process every three days will help to counteract this and allow your flowers to continue to absorb nutrients and moisture.

3. How to prune flowers

What wonderful colours.

Removing leaves from stems not only makes them look tidier but will also help your flowers last longer.

Leaves below the water line will encourage bacterial growth, thus diminishing the health of your flowers, so it’s important to remove them during the pruning process.

Once you’ve arranged your flowers, continue to check on them regularly. Remove any dead leaves or petals to make your flowers last as long as possible.

4. Where should I display my flowers to make them last longer?

The quality of your flower’s environment will have a direct effect on their lifespan.

Direct sunlight can cause flowers to bloom too quickly, whilst artificial heating dehydrates them. Additionally, changes in temperature such as intermittent cold air from an opened window will also have adverse effects.

Flowers fare best in natural, consistent environments. If possible, place your bouquet somewhere with natural light and heat.

5. How much should I water my flowers?

If you want your flowers to last for as long as possible, they’ll need a ready supply of water.

Water at room temperature is best, as it’s taken up more easily by the flowers.

TOP TIP: If you can’t get your flowers into a vase right away, wrap a dampened paper towel around the end of the stems, and seal with cling film to keep them from drying out.

6. How often should I change flower water

Such a beautiful bouquet.

Bacteria develop quickly in stagnant water.

To give your flowers the best chance at life, change the water frequently (every-other-day is what’s recommended).

Want to go a step further?

7. Consider giving your plants superfood

Is water alone the best option when it comes to making flowers last longer?

We’ve all seen the little sachets that come with supermarket flowers, but did you know there are many household remedies you can try at home too?

We’ve rounded up a selection of the most common (and stated their effectiveness) below:

1. Sugar water

Flowers don’t seem to like the sweet stuff.

Does sugar water help plants grow? While many people do add sweet stuff to their plant water, it not advised by professionals.

Rather than encouraging healthy flowers, a sugary solution may, in fact, cause stems to wilt.

2. Could bleach make your flowers last longer?

Strong bleach may seem like a strange choice to mix with a delicate bouquet, but there is the reasoning behind this process.

Bleach kills bacteria, which helps to keep plant water sterile.

Whether it’s actually any good for the plants themselves is yet to be seen.

3. Does soda make flowers last longer?

A slight variation to placing your bouquet of flowers in a sugar solution is using lemonade.

Although it works on the same principle of the flowers feeding off the sugar, it strangely delivers much better results.

4. You could try adding Vodka

Does this surprise you?

Ever had a shot of vodka? If so you’ll know how potent it can be.

Vodka is so potent in fact, that it will limit the amount of ethylene gas flowers are able to release, slowing down the maturing process.

Add a few drops to your vase of flowers and see how you get on.

5. Could aspirin prevent your flowers from wilting?

Another strange technique for making flowers last longer is adding a crushed aspirin to the vase of water.

The thinking process behind this is based on pH levels, which can improve the way water is uptaken by the plant.

6. Is putting your flowers in the fridge the answer?

Most fresh produce fares better in the fridge, but did you know flowers also enjoy the cool environment?

Storing your flowers in the fridge every evening may be a pain, but the low temperatures will help keep them looking fresher for longer by slowing down the ageing process.

7. What effect do copper coins have on flowers?

Could pennies be the key to making flowers last longer?

Adding coins to your plant water is also meant to have beneficial effects upon it.

Copper’s acidic properties fight bacteria to keep your flowers free to flourish healthily.

TOP TIP: When your flowers do reach their inevitable end, why not repurpose them?

Now seems like the perfect time to treat yourself to a bouquet. Do you have any tips of your own for making flowers last longer?