How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh

black satin dahlia

Cut flowers are a beautiful addition to any home, bringing color, fragrance, and a touch of nature indoors. To ensure your cut flowers remain fresh and vibrant for as long as possible, follow these simple tips and tricks. With a little care, you can extend the life of your flowers and enjoy their beauty for days, even weeks.

1. Choose Fresh Flowers

The longevity of cut flowers starts with their initial quality. When purchasing or cutting flowers, choose those that are fresh and not fully open. Buds that are just starting to bloom will last longer than flowers that are already fully open. Look for flowers with firm petals and healthy leaves.

2. Use Clean Tools and Vases

Before arranging your flowers, make sure to clean your tools and vases thoroughly. Bacteria can shorten the life of your flowers, so use a mild soap and water to wash your vases, and rinse them well. Clean tools ensure that the stems are cut smoothly, which helps in water absorption.

3. Trim the Stems

Cut the stems of your flowers at a 45-degree angle. This increases the surface area for water absorption and prevents the stems from sitting flat on the bottom of the vase, which can block water intake. Re-cut the stems every few days to keep the flowers hydrated.

4. Remove Foliage Below the Water Line

Any leaves that are submerged in water will rot and breed bacteria, which can harm your flowers. Remove any foliage that will be below the water line in the vase. This simple step helps maintain the water quality and keeps your flowers fresher longer.

5. Use the Right Water Temperature

Fill your vase with lukewarm water. Most flowers prefer this temperature, as it encourages water uptake. Some flowers, like tulips, prefer colder water, so be sure to research the specific needs of your flowers.

6. Add Flower Food

Flower food contains essential nutrients and antibacterial agents that help flowers stay fresh. When you buy a bouquet from La Osita in a vase, we’ve used flower food that we’ve made ourselves following this recipe:

  • one teaspoon of sugar
  • one teaspoon of white vinegar
  • a few drops of bleach
  • warm water

The sugar provides nutrients, the vinegar maintains the pH level, and the bleach kills bacteria.

7. Change the Water Regularly

Change the water in your vase every two to three days. Fresh water prevents bacteria build-up and provides your flowers with the nutrients they need. Don’t forget to wash the vase and re-cut the stems when you change the water.

8. Keep Flowers in a Cool Spot – Away from the Sun

Place your flowers in a cool location, away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. Extreme temperatures can cause flowers to wilt prematurely. A cool, shaded spot in your home is ideal for extending the life of your cut flowers.

9. Avoid Ethylene Gas

Fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas, which can cause flowers to age faster. Keep your flowers away from fresh produce to prolong their freshness.

10. Mist Your Flowers

Lightly misting your flowers with water can help keep them hydrated, especially in dry environments. Use a spray bottle to gently mist the petals and leaves.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your beautiful cut flowers for as long as possible. Whether they are from your own garden or a local flower shop, proper care and maintenance can make a significant difference in the longevity of your floral arrangements. Happy flowering!


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