Tips to Making Fresh Cut Flowers Last Longer

I know that when customers purchase our fresh cut flowers, they are doing something special for themselves (or as a gift).  Flowers make us feel good and I want our flowers to last as long as possible.

First, the freshest flowers last the longest at home.   Did you know that a majority of flowers sold at super markets and big box stores are several days old and have been handled several different times before you even purchase them.  We work hard to make sure the blooms and foliage we sell is the freshest possible.

When you get your flowers home, we have some great tips to help prolong their bloom.

There are two keys for keeping cut flowers looking good for as long as possible  – minimize the growth of bacteria in the water and to provide nourishment to replace what the flowers would have gotten had they not been cut.

Reduce Bacteria

The worst thing for your fresh flowers is BACTERIA growth.  It accelerates the decomposing process.

  • Always start with a clean and sanitized vase/container. 
  • Remove all leaves that will be touching the water.  Leaves in the water will rot, which is that awful smell.
  • Water should contain a bacteria fighter – a 1/2 tablespoon of bleach  or Vodka (Yep! That’s right!) per quart of warm water.
  • Change out water every couple of days.

Flower Food

Next you want to encourage hydration and provide food to the blooms.

  • Think of the stem as a straw that draws water up to the blooms. The pathway needs to have a clean flow.  When a stem is cut and left to the air it will close up or heals, which will not allow water to flow.  Re-cut the stem on an angle with a sharp knife or clippers to open up the flow.  Note: A dull knife will crush the stem and cut off  the water to flow.
  • Blooms also need their nourishment replaced that they would have gotten if they not been cut. Best way to provide that is with sugar water.  Sugar feeds the flower blooms and keeps the color bright.
    • Sugar Options – Dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar or lemonade soda (7UP or Sprite) per quart of water.

More tips

Display your flowers out of direct sunlight.

Occasionally spritz blooms with water, to helps keep them hydrated.

What About Those Flower Packets?

That little packets that come with fresh flowers works great.  Did you know that there are three main ingredients in those packets that you have at home:

  • Citric Acid –  keep flowers perky and bright, and also promotes better water intake through the stems.  Lemon juice has the perfect acidity level. Just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per quart of water.
  • Sucrose (sugar) – We mentioned this above.
  • Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) –  We mentioned this above, but also when you add sugar to water, mold and bacteria will grow. Bleach kills off any sources of bacteria or mold instantly that will wilt the blooms very fast. This is why liquid or powdered bleach is so very important.

Homemade Flower Food Recipe

  • one quart of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or lemonade soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon bleach (liquid or powder) or Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Dissolve sugar in water.  Stir in remaining ingredients.

Change water  and re-cut stems ever couple of days.