How to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer: Tips and Tricks

Sharing best practices for how to make cut flowers last longer with simple tips and tricks for extending the life of cut flowers.

Bringing cut flowers of any kind into the home is such a joy. It is one of those things that just seem to brighten up the space they are placed in and are a great finishing touch to a cleaning day. I love to have them anywhere I can. Often stretching out the grocery store bouquet to make smaller bundles to place in the bathrooms, bedside tables, and our living room table tray.

flowers in a vase on a table

If I find a sale, you can bet I will be stocking up and having arrangements for all of our sitting areas. The only downside is that they just don’t last long. Even the freshest cut flowers can wilt overnight. However, with such a love for flowers, I have learned a few tips and tricks over the years to help extend the enjoyment of each bundle. I hope you find these tips helpful for keeping those cut flowers around to enjoy longer.

Why Prolong Cut Flowers

  • Enjoy the beauty of flowers for a longer period of time
  • Prevents wastage of flowers
  • Enhance the interior décor
  • Save money by making them last longer

Tips For Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

Clean the vase

  • Use a mild detergent and clean water
  • Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry

Cut the stems

  • Use clean, sharp scissors or knife
  • Cut the stems at an angle
  • trim away lower leaves to prevent mold

Change the water

  • Change the water every few days
  • Make sure the vase is filled to the brim

Add flower preservative (recipes below)

  • Follow the instructions carefully
  • Use the recommended amount of preservative

Keep away from heat

  • Move the flowers away from heat sources
  • Avoid placing flowers near radiators or air conditioners
  • Avoid sunny windows with direct sunlight if possible

Heat and Moisture Loss

When flowers dry out, they begin to fall apart and droop. To further ensure the longevity of your flowers, it is important to keep them away from direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause flowers to wilt faster and lose their color and vibrancy. Also, be sure to keep the bouquet away from air vents, which can cause them to dry out quicker. Lastly, if you can, try to mist the flowers with a spray bottle and monitor the moisture levels. This will help to keep them looking fresh and vibrant for longer.

fresh cut flowers in vases

How To Make Your Own Flower Preservative

It might seem tricky or even difficult to make your own flower preservative but honestly, it is as simple as whipping up a batch of homemade cleaner. You just need a few things to get started. One thing to note is that a flower preservative needs 3 basic things, an acid, a fungal inhibitor, and sugar. The recipes below are proven flower preservatives that have all 3 you will need.

Floral Preservative Recipe#1:

  • 1-quart water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon household bleach

Floral Preservative Recipe #2:

  • 1- quart of water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bleach

Directions: Add all of the ingredients to the water. Mix the solution well. Then use the mixture to fill your vase or dish arrangements that contain floral foam. It is best to make the solution as needed, as storing it causes the bleach to lose its potency.

Longest Lasting Cut Flowers

You might be wondering which flowers will last longest as the life span for varieties varies drastically. While all good things must come to an end, why not start by selecting varieties that will stick around longer, straight out the gate? Here is a list of some of the longest-lasting cut flowers to get more bang for your buck.

  • Zinnias
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Orchids
  • Carnations
  • Gerbera Daisies
  • Alliums
  • Lillies
  • Alstroemerias
  • Delphiniums
  • Freesias
a bouquet of fresh cut flowers

Growing Your Own Flowers

One of the most rewarding things to do when it comes to any form of gardening is to grow your own cut flower garden. Don’t be thrown off by the term garden, either. I assure you that you don’t need much space to grow your flowers, and there are a ton of varieties that take very little effort to yield results. Check out these 5 Cut Flowers To Grow for a cut flower garden. Most can be grown straight from seed or bulb, and many will keep your vases filled all summer long.

Imagine stepping out your back door, shears in hand, able to snip blooms to bring inside anytime you like. If you are new to arranging and creating flower bouquets, this article, 8 Simple Steps to Arrange Flowers Like a Pro from Better Homes and Gardens, is helpful.

Ideas For Using Spent Cut Flowers

Don’t toss those blooms in the trash just yet! If you enjoy doing fun little DIY projects you can opt to make a homemade flower potpourri. It creates a pretty display and a nice natural scent for the areas you place it in. Or if you enjoy an old-world look in your home. Tie the bouquet together with a piece of twine and hang them from a nail in your kitchen. It adds instant charm without spending a dime.

To Sum It Up

  • Prolonging the life of cut flowers is possible with the right care and maintenance
  • Keep the vase clean, cut the stems at an angle
  • Change the water regularly
  • Add flower preservative to maintain the freshness
  • Additionally, make sure to keep the flowers away from direct heat sources
  • Choose flowers that last longer
  • Enjoy your cut flowers longer by hanging them to dry or making a homemade flower potpourri.

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