Which Cut Flowers Last Longest?
Popular Fresh Cut Flowers
A beautiful bouquet of fresh cut flowers brings instant enjoyment to the beholder. They serve to express our deepest emotions, and convey our sincerest sentiments.
‘Get well’, ‘thank you’, ‘I’m sorry’, and ‘I love you’ are communicated simply by extending a blooming bundle of blossoms to your intended receiver.
Cut flowers help us in celebrating special occasions and observing momentous events in our lives. Cut flowers make us feel great!
Receiving beautiful and fragrant flowers is a joyful occurrence, especially if there is a significance to the gesture. Sometimes they represent so much more than is apparent at first glance.
Unfortunately, once cut from the plant, the vibrancy and aroma of your flowers begin a slow decline, fade, and soon will be just a pleasant memory. Some cut flower species last longer than do others. Purchase price does not equal bloom duration. An expensive bouquet of Roses, although deliciously fragrant and elegant, do not possess the lasting power of other less expensive cut flowers.
Protect your investment in cut flowers by choosing varieties that last the longest. This Hub focuses on six of the most popular fresh cut flowers. Tips and tricks are included to help to keep your beautiful bouquet happy, and blooming longer.
Which types of pretty flowers are the most popular to use for cuts?
The Rose ~ The vase life of a Rose is 7 to 10 days, if you keep them in cool water.
TIP: Buy roses with firm heads. Gently squeeze the bud and check for firmness. You want tight buds, so if there is any ‘give’, pass on that one.
Roses greatly appreciate being cut under water. The stem can develop an air bubble otherwise. They 'take a breath' when cut, so if submerged under water, that first 'breath' that is 'inhaled' will be a beneficial drink. Then place in a water-filled vase.
Save the Rose petals and create your own potpourri.
The Orchid ~ The vase life of an Orchid is 14 to 21 days.
TIP: Trim Orchid stems and change their water everyday, or at least every second day.
Remove all of the Orchid's faded flowers to restore energy back to the stem.
Individual Orchid flowers may be displayed by being floated in a decorative dish with fresh water.
Make Your Cut Flowers Last Longer
The Carnation ~ The vase life of a Carnation is 14 to 21 days.
TIP: Remove the foliage leaves and petals at water level and below.
Individual Carnation flowers may be displayed by being floated in a decorative dish with fresh water.
White Carnations can be 'colored' by adding food coloring to the vase water. They slowly drink up the dyes and gradually you'll see them change to the color that you have chosen. A fun transformation to see them develop their new coloration.
The Chrysanthemum ~ The vase life of a Chrysanthemum is 25 to 30 days.
Of all the wonderful species listed here in this collection of popular cut flowers, the Chrysanthemum posseses the longest vase life of them all! Chrysanthemums reward consumers with the best value for dollar spent!
TIP: They require clean water each day, and benefit from a trim of their stems each day as well.
Try to get the longest stems possible; 25 to 30 days of stem trimming will not leave you with much size left for your bouquet.
The Lily ~ The vase life of a Lily is 14 days.
TIP: Remove the pollen pods to extend life and prevent staining. The 'powder' will stain your fingers when removing, so use gloves or paper towels and just pluck them off as the flowers begin to open.
Pinching faded blossoms encourages re-blooming.
Not all Lilies are overly fragrant.
The Lily in the photograph is the 'Star Gazer' and has an amazing scent.
Highly-scented Lilies like the 'Star Gazer' will create an 'aroma dome' in about a five foot radius eminating from the plant.
The Gladiolas ~ The vase life of a Gladiolas is 14 days.
TIP: Thin out and remove all of the fading flowers as they decline. This returns energy back to the stem and re-powers the stem to keep the existing flowers going strong.
Gladiolas bloom from the bottom ~ up . . . so removing them does not have an unsightly impact.
When the stem looks less that perfect due to pinching off spent flowers, float those individual blossoms in a decorative dish of water.
What To Do When You Get Home With Your New Cut Flowers
When you get your new cut flowers home, place them in fresh water. Remove any covering they may be wrapped in. The original florist cut is now old and the flower may not be taking up the water that it needs to live. Cut about an inch off the bottom of the stem. Make your cut at an angle of about 45 degrees with a sharp, un-serrated knife. Cutting the stem at an angle allows the flower to absorb the water easier. Be sure to remove any foliage that will be in or submerged under the water. Foliage leaves and buds submerged under water will begin to rot and foul the water.
Select a clean vase, preferably glass, durable plastic or ceramic types of vessels. Fill your vase with fresh, cool water. Cool water and home environment temperatures will help to prolong the life of your cut flowers.
Mix into the water of your flower vase some type of flower preservative. Many florists provide a packet containing a powdered flower preservative that accompanies cut flower purchases. You may choose to make your own homemade flower preservative. Here is the recipe . . .
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon household bleach
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
1 quart lukewarm water
How to Cut Flowers to Last Longer in a Vase
Now you are ready to make an arrangement from your awesome fresh cut flowers! Don’t overcrowd the vase by adding too many flowers to the bouquet. You don’t want it to look bunchy and unappealing. Make a second bouquet if your are limited by the volume that the first vase holds.
Choose a good location. Locating your pretty bouquet of cut flowers in the proper place can help to extend the vase life of your flowers. Avoid direct sunlight! Indirect and bright light is best. Protect them from exposure to extreme temperatures, particularly heat and draft.
Daily maintenance will extend the life of your fresh cut flower arrangement. Changing the water, re-cutting the stems and replenishing the flower preservative will greatly lengthen the life of cut flowers. Don’t just ‘top it off’ . . . refill with fresh water. Remove fading blooms and leaves as they occur.
Questions & Answers
When daffodils are cut, should the cut stem be held under a lit match to seal it? Or is this an old wives tail?
Never heard that one! After cutting the daffodil from the plant, submerge the stem in water and make a diagonal cut. When you cut a tubular type stem, it takes in a 'breath' and so that 1st breath should be a drink of water. This eliminates an air bubble forming.