Flowers are a common gift for any of life’s special occasions and even the moments in between. A bouquet of bright blooms can bring cheer to any space and leave a lasting impression, even after they’re gone. Whether you’ve received an anniversary flower arrangement, a graduation bouquet, or picked out a gorgeous bunch of Mother’s Day flowers, you’ll want to enjoy them for as long as possible.
The sad truth is that flower bouquets don’t last forever. Unlike plant care, flowers feature shorter lifespans and more finicky upkeep. On the bright side, there are guidelines and little known tips you can use to ensure the longevity of your flowers. We are uncovering everything you need to know about how to keep flowers fresh in three easy steps.
Step 1: Prepare Your Flowers for the Vase
- Cut the Stems: One of the most common mistakes people make after receiving flowers is forgetting to cut the stems. Use garden shears to trim one to two inches off and cut at an angle. Cutting the stems at an angle allows for better water intake since they aren’t sitting flat on the bottom of a vase.
Every few days, re-cut fresh flower stems diagonally under running water (ideally with a knife rather than scissors). Trimming flower stems at an angle prevents them from sitting flat on the bottom of the vase, which can block water uptake
- Prune: Remove any leaves below the water line. It will not only make your bouquet look better, but also prevent bacterial growth. Some flowers, like roses, have guard petals which are the two or three outermost petals of the flower. Removing these will allow your flower to open up fully. After your initial pruning, you should check your flowers daily for dead or loose leaves and petals in order to avoid bacterial rot.
Some flowers will bloom quickly, others slowly. Over time, prune away dead blossoms, as this will encourage other blooms to open. As flowers wither, you may want to remove them from the floral bouquet and move the remaining blooms to a smaller vase.
Step 2: Water Wisely
Watering is an essential step in understanding how to keep flowers fresh. It’s not only important to get your bouquet hydrated but to do so wisely. Your flowers won’t last long without water, especially once their stems have been cut.
After picking out a clean vase, fill it with room temperature water and add in a packet of flower food. Make sure that the packet has been properly mixed and that the water is not too diluted or too concentrated. It’s also important to clean your vase thoroughly and change out the water and flower food every two to three days.
Pro-tip: Conditioning water with “home remedies” such as aspirin, bleach, mouthwash, or lemon-lime soda in lieu of flower food is not beneficial and may even shorten the longevity of your flowers. Most wilted flowers can be revived by submerging the entire stem up to the flower head in warm water for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Avoid Direct Sunlight, Heat, Drafts, and Fruit
Your flowers will last longer in a room with cool temperatures. Avoid displaying them in direct sunlight or near appliances that generate heat. High temperatures and sunlight cause flowers to mature at a faster rate, which can shorten the lifespan of your bouquet. You’ll also want to avoid areas like open windows, heating or cooling vents, and ceiling fans as they can cause the flowers to quickly dehydrate.
You also shouldn’t display your bouquet near fruit. That’s right— ripening fruits release tiny amounts of ethylene gas which can reduce the longevity of your fresh arrangement.
How to Keep Flowers Fresh in a Vase: 5 Interesting Hacks
There’s no need to keep asking yourself how to keep fresh flowers longer. Surprisingly, you might have a few things lying around the house that can help you enjoy your bouquets and flower deliveries for longer. Check out this list of five household remedies below:
- Coins: Add a copper penny to your fresh bouquet. The copper should act like an acidifier, fighting the bacteria growth in your arrangement.
- Flower Food: Adding flower food to your vase of fresh flowers is a tried and true way to keep your blooms fresh longer.
- Fridge: Put your bouquet in the fridge every night before bed (typically 8 hours per night.) Flowers are said to thrive in cooler temperatures. It is thought that the low temps help slow the aging process.
- Soda: Pour ¼ cup of soda into a vase full of fresh flowers. The sugar in soda is said to make your blooms last longer and even smell sweeter too.
- Vodka: Add a few drops of vodka (or any clear spirit) to your vase of flowers. Vodka is said to have a different effect on flowers. The spirit’s ability to inhibit ethylene production, a ripening gas that helps plants mature, slows the wilting of the flowers.
Now that you have some extra tricks up your sleeve on how to keep cut flowers fresh, you should try one out yourself! Browse our collection of same-day flower delivery and find the perfect bouquet for any celebration or surprise someone with flowers for no reason at all!