Skip to Content

Oops-a-Daisy, My Flowers are Dead: How to Extend the Life of your Cut Flowers

Freshly cut flower arrangements are the perfect way to use the beauty of nature to decorate your home. When flowers are brought indoors, their fragrant petals will spread a delicate scent throughout the home while the arrangement will also add a pop of color. Flowers can be arranged in a variety of settings to match the seasons as well as the rest of the home’s décor. While a fresh cut flower’s beauty may be fleeting, there are several ways to preserve those beautiful blooms so you can get the most out of your seasonal floral display.

Clean Your Container
Before you begin your arrangement, you will want to begin with a clean vase or container. Bacteria in the floral water can inhibit the water flow to the flowers. Therefore, you will need to wash the container with hot, soapy water, and rinse it clean. Then, you can wipe the inside of your vase with vinegar and bleach to ensure that it is free from bacteria.

Cut Correctly
If possible, it is always best to cut flowers in the garden early in the morning when they are filled with food and fragrance. Always use a sharp, un-serrated knife to cut your blooms. Be sure to cut the stems at a diagonal before placing them immediately in lukewarm water. If there are any leaves on the stem that will be submerged, be sure to remove each one. However, when possible, it is best to leave the thorns on roses because this helps to keep them fresher longer.

Choose a Preservative
Sometimes, flower arrangements arrive with special packets designed to prolong the life of the flowers. However, there are many ways that you can inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi and yeast that cause flowers to wilt. It is also important to provide food for the flowers in the form of sugar. One of the simplest preservatives you can use is a spoonful or two of sugar followed by a couple drops of bleach. This will help to reduce bacteria while providing nutrients for the plant. Other sugar and anti-bacterial combinations will work just as well such as soda and bleach. Additionally, adding one ounce of mouthwash can provide a dose of sugar while also cutting out bacteria.

Buy Local
Imported flowers are sprayed with chemicals to stop the spread of flower fungus and bacteria. Flowers sprayed with these chemicals do not last very long once put into a vase. Local flowers are almost never sprayed with chemicals. Australian readers can check out Interflora for some of the best locally grown flowers available.

Additional Tips
It is important to remember to avoid placing too many flowers into one container as this can cause them to compete for food

while bacteria rise to excessive levels. The water should also be changed every two days to ensure that the flowers always have a clean source of food. Be sure to add preservatives each time you change the water. Finally, be careful where you place your floral arrangement as too much sun can dry out the petals. Being placed near fruit can also damage cut flowers due to the gas that is released by fresh fruit.

Taking care of a freshly cut flower arrangement is a simple process. By taking the time to cut flowers properly and keep them fed and free from bacteria, the life of an arrangement can be extended. This way, you will be able to enjoy the beauty your flowers throughout every season.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post brought to you by our friends at Interflora.

Lisa R

Sunday 20th of January 2013

Sugar, you're kidding me and bleach you're kidding me even more, lol, wow, i would have never thought these things would work, thanks so much. I have to definitely try these. I alos noticed that certain flowers last longer than others.

sibabe64 at ptd dot net

Sylvia Ortiz

Tuesday 4th of December 2012

Thank you for the helpful tips! I get disappointed when my husband brings me home roses and they die within 1-2 days. Hopefully now, I can be able to preserve their beauty - so that I can appreciate them a little while longer. :)

Amy Orvin

Tuesday 4th of December 2012

Thank you for all of the wonderful tips. I will keep these in mind.

Comments are closed.