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6 Steps to Keep Flowers Fresh Longer

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

Learn how to make your fresh flowers last longer with these six easy tips.

Learn how to make your fresh flowers last longer with these six easy tips.

Mark the next special occasion (like Valentine’s Day!) with fresh flowers. Nothing brightens your mood or a room like a fragrant floral arrangement. Cut flowers just look so darned pristine—at least for the first couple of days.

But before you know it, the water gets cloudy, the flower heads start to droop, and petals drop. Your once beautiful bouquet is well, a smelly mess. At that point, it’s too late to save them.

Don’t let this happen to you! Keep cut flowers looking fresh longer by trying these easy peasy tips!

1. Recut the Stems

Cut the stems at an angle so your pretty flowers can soak up all the H2O they can. It won’t make them last forever, but it will extend their life a few extra days.

Cut the stems with a sharp knife or floral sheers at 45° angles.

Cut the stems with a sharp knife or floral sheers at 45° angles.

2. Use a Floral Additive

Dissolve a little packet of preservative in the water before you arrange your flowers. Pick up a few additional packets from the florist to add it when you change the water. If you don't have preservative packets, you can add a little bit of vinegar, bleach, vodka, lemon-lime soda, sugar, or aspirin to the water to keep the flowers looking perky. These are easy items that you can probably find around the house.

You can use a floral preservative or a number of household items to add to the water.

You can use a floral preservative or a number of household items to add to the water.

3. Change Out the Water

Your flowers like drinking stale, dirty water about as much as you do. Change the water every two days to keep your cuttings happy and healthy.

Don't forget to dump out the vase and add clean cool water.

Don't forget to dump out the vase and add clean cool water.

4. Clean the Vase

When you change the water, scrub down the sides of the vase to remove water scum and bacteria that might harm those precious buds.

You can clean the vase with a baking soda paste to remove the scum from the sides of the crystal clear vase.

You can clean the vase with a baking soda paste to remove the scum from the sides of the crystal clear vase.

5. Avoid Direct Sun

Flowers love sun while growing, but once cut they're happier in the shade. Protecting them from direct sun will prevent wilting and petal drop.

Sun shining on the vase can wilt the flowers.

Sun shining on the vase can wilt the flowers.

6. Cool 'Em Down

Overnight, place your flowers in a cool room or even in the fridge during the summer. It will help them retain moisture so they stay fresh looking longer.

During the heat of the summer, put the flowers in a cool room or in the fridge so they don't droop.

During the heat of the summer, put the flowers in a cool room or in the fridge so they don't droop.

© 2020 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on January 18, 2020:

Eman, I'm happy that you enjoyed the tips and images!

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on January 18, 2020:

Thanks for this useful and beautiful article.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on January 17, 2020:

Linda, I don't get fresh flowers all the time but once in a while for holidays or a birthday. Glad you enjoyed the tips to keep cut flowers looking happy and healthy!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 17, 2020:

Thanks for sharing the tips. They sound very useful. I don't have cut flowers in my home very often, but the next time that I do I'm going to remember your suggestions.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on January 17, 2020:

Liz, those carnation stems are really hardy! I do so like them. I think I'll get a bunch of carnations for Valentine's Day. Roses are beautiful but you have to remove the leaves, cut back the stems multiple times, add new water, clean the vase and add preservative every several days. The roses tend to droop within 5 to 7 days.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 17, 2020:

These are great tips. I have flowers, mainly carnations, that I was sent just before Christmas. They are still going strong, a record for me. Carnations are my favourites as they last so long.