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How to Keep Flowers Fresh: Top 11 Tips to Keep Flowers Fresh

Tulip, tulips bouquet

When we receive a bouquet of flowers, it warms our hearts and triggers our appreciation for natural beauty. The unfortunate part about cut flowers, however, is that they never seem to last long enough. But we have a few tips on keeping these beautiful blooms vibrant for longer than the average few days.

These tactics can spruce up your blooms and prevent premature deterioration. Let’s get started.

garden flower divider

How to Keep Flowers Fresh

1. Wash the Vase Before Placing

Image Credit: Yuri, Pixabay

Some flowers are very sensitive to their environment, particularly after they’re cut. If you use a vase you already have, you’ll want to make sure it’s clear of any past residue from previous bouquets or cleaning products you’ve used in between. It’s always best to wash any flower vase with warm soap and water and rinse thoroughly.

2. Snip the Stems

You can snip the blooms every few days to keep everything looking its best. As the flowers start to sit in water, the cut part of the stem can be the first to start decomposing. Giving your flowers a fresh cut every few days will allow these stems to absorb the water’s nutrients and avoid rotting prematurely.

3. Prune Leaves

Florist pruning red roses with small shears for arranging bouquets
Image Credit: Arina P Habich, Shutterstock

Leaves are not meant to be submerged as the flower grows and also when they’re cut. If you submerge leaves, they will start to rot, which can significantly reduce the life of the plants. It’s a straightforward process. All you’ll have to do to avoid this issue is snip the leaves that are close to the water line. As long as all leaves are above the water line, you won’t have to worry about premature rotting.

4. Test Water Acidity

It might sound silly to test the pH of the water. But if you’re looking to keep your blooms lasting, cut flowers do better in slightly acidic water. Try to keep the pH level between 3.5 and 5.0.

5. Use Flower Food

Person adding white flower food powder inside cut flower vase so cut flowers last longer fresh
Image Credit: FotoHelin, Shutterstock

When you buy a bouquet of flowers, it often comes with a packet of flower food. This comes with it for a reason, so if you find that your bouquet did not come with a flower packet, make sure to stop by your local florist or pick one up at the supermarket. These packets contain valuable preservatives that will help your fresh-cut flowers last.

6. DIY Flower Food

If you don’t have store-bought food, you can also try making your own at home. It’s way simpler than you think, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand. All you have to do is fill your vase with three parts water, one part Sprite, and three drops of bleach. If you don’t have Sprite on hand, you can mix two tablespoons of sugar in its place.

7. Change the Water

Young woman rinsing and cutting flowers and pouring water into the vase in kitchen sink
Image Credit: Dasha Petrenko, Shutterstock

As you can guess, your flowers do a lot better in water without any decay. Dirty water can lead to bacterial growth therein. This will quickly cause wilting of the plant and affect the appearance of the blooms. For best results, change your vase water every 3 days.

8. Continually Feed

You’re going to want to feed your plants regularly. On top of plant food, you can add other things to the mix, like a bit of bleach, copper coins, and sugar. This will help reduce bacteria and keep your petals and stems sturdy and vibrant.

9. Keep the Vase in an Ideal Environment

Zinnia Flowers in a vase
Image Credit: PxHere

You might not think about it, but if your flowers are directly sitting in sunlight, next to a drafty window, or sitting next to a very warm or cold vent, it can decrease the longevity of the blooms. Keep the vase at room temperature to provide an ideal environment.

10. Use Vodka

This might seem like a weird one, but we promise it works. Adding a few drops of vodka into your water actually decreases the aging process since it prevents ethanol gas from forming.

11. Separate Toxic Flowers from the Rest

Beautiful woman arranging flowers picked from her garden at home happy and joyful
Image By: El Nariz, Shutterstock

Certain flowers let off toxicity that will leach into the water, affecting other flowers. Flowers like daffodils and irises may be very beautiful in a bouquet, but they will severely limit the longevity of existing flowers.

So, it’s best to separate toxic and non-toxic flowers, enjoying two vases rather than one.

garden flower divider


What’s the Average Lasting Time of Cut Flowers?

Cut flowers last roughly 7 to 12 days. They can last 12 days if you follow simple basic care tips.

Would It Help to Pull the Flowers Instead?

It might seem like pulling the flower from the root would help it last longer. However, that’s often not the case. Flowers do better when you cut them towards the roots at the stalk. Then, you can continuously recut the stems to rejuvenate the flowers.

Flowers inside kitchen_Mitchell Henderson_Pexels
Image By: Mitchell Henderson, Pexels

Hanging Flowers

If you still want to preserve your flowers long after the life has left, you can always consider drying them. For this, you will need to hang them upside down to dry.

If you have separated flowers due to toxicity, you can cut all the leaves off of each flower you want in the bouquet and place them together. Tie a string around the bottom half of the bouquet several times. Make sure you have one loose string to hang the flowers from a high-up surface.

If you hang these flowers in direct sunlight, it can cause them to lose their color quickly. So make sure that you hang them in a well-shaded spot in the home. There are also faster ways to dehydrate flowers, such as using silica sand or the microwave.

garden flower divider


Even though cut flowers are always a short-lived affair, it’s helpful to enjoy them as long as possible. And, when you think there is very little life left in them, you can always hang them to dry for preservation. Hopefully, by combining these tactics, you can keep your bouquet looking its best.

Featured Image Credit: Sergey Bezgodov, Shutterstock


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