How To Make Your Fresh Cut Flowers Last Longer

keeping flowers fresh A few days ago I noticed that my favorite flowers were in FULL BLOOM (almost PAST full bloom! yikes!) and I hadn’t cut any yet!

I LOVE purple coneflower and shasta daisies.

I have planted them in several different places in my yard and when they are in full bloom they make GREAT cut flower arrangements.

The only problem with DIY cut flower arrangements is they don’t come with those little packets of flower preservative like bouquets from a florist do. :-)

Embarrassingly, I never thought to make my own, until this year!

Since making my own flower preservative was a new concept to ME….I figured there might be a few other people out there who it might be “new” to as well. So I’m sharing!  I hope you find it helpful!


keeping flowers fresh

Purple Coneflower and Shasta Daisies in my flower beds. :-)

I looked at literally dozens of “recipes” for this….and they were all basically the same.

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon household bleach
  • 2 teaspoons lemon (or lime) juice
  • 1 quart of lukewarm water


Fill a container with 1 qt. of warm water.
Add 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. chlorine bleach and 2 tsp. lemon or lime juice to the warm water.
Place a lid on the container, and shake.
Pour into flower vase (or mason jar).  :-)


keeping flowers fresh

keeping flowers fresh


keeping flowers fresh

Now get out there and cut some flowers!  What are you favorite cut flower combos? I’d love to know!



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    • Tanya says

      If you were to substitute powdered bleach for liquid, would the measurement stay the same? I just know that if I try to measure 1 spoon of bleach, it will be all over the place LOL I am clumsy like that.

      Oh and my favorite fresh cut flowers are from spring, daffodils and tuilps, beautiful!

  1. Kathie says

    I grow my own Zinnia’s every year! They start blooming in June and don’t stop until October.
    I have fresh cut flowers all summer into early fall <3
    Thanks BUNCHES for the recipe

  2. Ayshela says

    when I was little, before we moved from semi arid to rain forest, we had tulips and tiger lilies growing alongside some of the farm buildings. I LOVED it when they bloomed, and that’s still one of the best combinations ever IMO. =)

  3. Beth B. says

    This year for cutting, I grew 3 different varieties of zinnias (the most awesome cut flower EVER), cosmo’s, and bachelor’s buttons. Also three varieties of cone flower. I’ve had cut flowers all summer — will definitely try this recipe!

  4. Sherri McNeeley says

    I have hydrangeas, purple and white coneflower, daylilies, lamb’s ear, butterfly bushes and roses that dominate my perennial beds (along with a variety of ground covers and hostas). Depending on the color of my vase, I usually take from this variety as it suits me! I have annuals in pots and hanging baskets that I use as centerpieces from time to time. My crape myrtle is a deep salmon color and a few blooms clipped from their branches look mighty pretty in a crock. Other southern favorites (I’m in Tennessee) are magnolia blossoms floating in a bowl and Queen Anne’s lace picked from an obliging field or the side of the road. Sometimes I just use lots of greenery from the shrubs and add a few flowers. That’s the true beauty of floral design from the landscape — there’s a seemingly endless parade!

  5. Becka says

    When I received some flowers for Valentines Day, it didn’t come with one of those mystery packets…. I talked to the florist and she said to crush up and add 2 aspirin to the water in the vase, and it would do well. My flowers lasted about 10 days…. way longer than I was expecting them to!

  6. Amber says

    Crushing up an aspirin in the flowers’ water and changing it regularly can make flowers last ages. I received flowers and made them last well over a month by doing that alone. :) Your flower beds look amazing!

  7. Deanna Kennedy says

    Love your tips. A friend was asking me how I learned to make all my cheap toiletry items and cleaning products. Sent them to your site, I think that probably 75% of my pinterest might have came from your blog. :-) I was looking for things to add to fresh-cut flowers too and I found that a few drops of Listerine or generic Mouthwash works too.

  8. Catherine's not naturally crafty says

    We had a professor of Horticulture advise to use the plain Listerine type mouthwash (you know the golden stuff) since it contains an antiseptic, sugar, water and everything needed to keep the flowers fresh and healthy for a very long time. Add about a tablespoon to the water and you have to change it out regularly as the water gets cloudy but, it really works!

  9. Bryana says

    I know I’m WAY late, but . . Sweet Peas are one of the best cut flowers ever. They are beautiful and fragrant and abundant — just remember to plant the seeds in the fall for spring blooms.

  10. Mandy says

    My all time favorite cut flower/ herb combo is
    Coneflower. …black eyed susans….and a handful of peppermint stems and parsley stems for beautiful greenery that last surprisingly up to 2 weeks in a vase or jar filled with fresh water daily….and of course any concoction as mentioned is fine for the herbs too. The smell from rhe bouquet on my kitchen counter is lovely too.


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