Even a few flowers from the garden in a mason jar brightens up a room, don’t you think? I love having fresh-cut flowers in the house, and the other day I noticed that some of my favorite flowers in my beds were in bloom, so I quickly cut some to bring inside.
As I was arranging them with some grocery store flowers I already had to make a bouquet, I was reminded of the many tips I’ve picked up over the years to make my cut flowers last a little longer. So once I was finished with the flowers, I rushed to my keyboard so I could share those tips with you today!
Here are 7 of the best ways to make cut flowers last longer.
7 Tips That Will Make Your Cut Flowers Last Longer
1. Give Them “Flower Food”
Even after they’re cut, flowers still need food and water. Florists often include a little packet of food so you can add it to the water in your vase, but you can make your own flower food at home.
Just measure out 1 quart of lukewarm water, then to it add 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of household bleach, and 2 teaspoons of lemon (or lime) juice. Mix it up, then pour it into your flower vase before adding or arranging your flowers. Easy!
2. Keep Foliage Out Of The Water
Submerged foliage encourages microbial growth that can clog the flower stems and prevent water and food from getting to the blossoms. Be sure to remove the lower leaves before placing flowers in a vase—it will go a long way toward keeping the water fresh and making the flowers last longer.
3. Make Clean Cuts
Using a sharp knife or scissors to re-cut each stem on a slant just before it goes into the vase will also help the flowers with water uptake. Very sharp scissors or knives will help you avoid crushing the stems, which can negatively affect water uptake and allow microbes in. Even better, do it under water in the sink so air doesn’t block the end of the stem.
4. Keep Them Cool
Did you ever notice that florists store a lot of their flowers in refrigerated spaces? That’s because the ideal conditions for cut flowers is 34-36° with 90-95% humidity. We may not be able to provide these exact conditions at home, but keeping them away from heat and direct sunlight will help them last longer. (You could even move them to cool room or the fridge at night to give them a boost.)
5. Refresh The Water
Flowers absorb a lot of water their first day in a vase, so keep an eye on the water level and replenish it when needed. If the water is cloudy after a couple of days, take the flowers out, dump out the water, and wash the vase. Then rinse the stems under running water, cut an inch or so off the bottom, and fill the vase with fresh water and flower food before replacing the flowers.
6. Edit As Needed
Since some flowers last longer than others, you can keep your arrangement looking fresh by removing spent flowers and wilted foliage. As the size of your bouquet shrinks, transfer it to a smaller vase and make a fresh arrangement to keep it looking full and beautiful.
7. Keep Them Away From Fruit
If you’ve ever seen all the fruit in a bowl going bad seemingly in unison, it wasn’t because the bananas and apples made a pact to check out at the same time. More likely, the cause was ethylene gas, which is released by some fruits and vegetables and stimulates maturation.
Flowers can be affected by the presence of ethylene gas too, so keeping your flowers away from the produce bowl can help keep your flowers in better shape.
How do you keep your flower arrangements looking good?