How to Make Flowers Last Longer Once You Cut Them

I love fresh flowers, whether I cut them from the back yard or someone gives them to me as a gift.  But, knowing how to make flowers last longer once you cut them will keep that little bit of nature blooming a bit longer.  Store bought flowers are expensive and I hate when they wilt within days of putting them in the vase.  And fresh flowers from my backyard are not overly abundant.  I have some daffodils and hyacinths popping out of the ground right now and I can’t wait til I have enough fresh flowers to bring inside on a regular basis.  If you love flowers and hate for them to die too quickly, here are a few simple tips to make them last longer.

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How to Make Flowers Last Longer Once You Cut Them

How to Make Flowers Last Longer

Prepare your flower water: There are a  lot of ideas about how to make flowers last longer when it comes to their water and food.  You want something that will minimize bacterial and mold growth but also provide nutrients to the fresh flowers.   Here are a few ideas you might want to consider:

  • Vinegar and sugar mixture: The vinegar will kill bacteria and sugar provides nutrients.
  • Conventional flower food: Just use as directed on the package.  Here is an affiliate link for flower food on Amazon if you want to keep some on hand in the house.
  • A few drops of bleach: In theory the bleach kills bacteria and mold
  • Aspirin: Increases the acidity of the water and prevents microbial growth
  • A penny: The copper may act as an antibacterial agent.
  • Make homemade plant food: Mix one quart of warm water with 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon bleach. Mix well.  Place in a vase and add flowers.
  • Human vitamins: Crush a multivitamin tablet and add it to the water.
  • Flower electrolytes: Add a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt mixed with baking soda.
Place flowers in warm water as quickly as possible:  Flowers start dying the minute you cut them off of the plant they came from.  You need to get them in water as quickly as possible.  Don’t shock them with ice cold water….make it slightly warmer than room temperature to simulate a nice summer rain!  Remove the paper from the flowers, snip off about one inch from the stem ends and then place in water with your preferred additive. (see list above!)
How to Make Flowers Last Longer Once You Cut Them
Avoid overcrowding your flowers. Bacteria and mold will grow more readily on flowers that are cram packed too tightly into a vase.  The petals may get squashed and your delicate flowers may get bruised.  Don’t do too much rearranging before the flowers have had a while to drink from their new vase water.  After 6 hours or so of sitting in the water, you can start to arrange them however you want them to be displayed.
Remove the leaves below the water line:  While you are arranging your flowers, trim off excess leaves below the water line.  Having leaves sitting in the water just increases the mold and bacteria growth and decreases your flower’s life span.

Keep your flowers away from heat and bright light:  Windowsills are really not the best place for a vase of flowers.  Set them in a cool spot away from heating vents and direct sunlight.

Change water every few days:  No matter which plant food or antimicrobial agent you choose, change the water every few days to keep fresh flowers healthy.
Fresh flowers are a beautiful way to decorate your home and they are nice to receive as gifts.  Learn how to make flowers last longer and you can enjoy those gorgeous blooms for so much longer!  Check out these other helpful flower care tips for more info!

What fresh flowers do YOU like to decorate with?

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