How to prolong the life of your cut flowers

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One of the very first things I’ve learned when I started working at a flower shop (by now, so many years ago) is that cut flowers’ lives can be prolonged.

There are small packets of flower-food people can purchase and add them to the water when placing flowers in vases, or I’ve heard crushed Aspirin, tiny spoonfuls of sugar or a droplet of bleach also help. I’m not really a fan of these however.

In my experience the most effective thing one can do is wash the vases well, change the water in them every single day, cut the stems diagonally, and a little bit more each day when changing the water.
This is why flower arrangements in floral foam (which aren’t tall) last for such a long time.

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What about when flowers in a bouquet start fading at different rates? Simple: rearrange. :)

First off, take the flowers which appear less affected and cut the stems to half, then place them in a smaller vase and treat them as before the bouquet was pulled apart.

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Second, take the more affected flowers (or when you notice fading again) and do the same exact thing. A “baby” vase looks just as pretty as a vase with tall flowers in it!

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Third, one of my favorites, floating flower heads:
What I found is that when flowers such as Gerberas, Lilies and Daisies for example are fading, you can prolong their life if the stem is cut even shorter than short.
You should cut the stem as close to the flower head as possible and arrange them so as to make a bowl of floating flower heads.
I have two champagne glasses (the old, wide type ones from my grandmother’s) which are lonesome, their sets broken years ago. I add water and place my flower’s heads in those. Or in round bowls – glass, clay, whatever you have on hand works.
The end result looks really pretty when your arrangement is placed on a table as a center piece or where ever you have a place for them, and your flowers will live so much longer than they would in a simple vase.

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Do You have any tips that have worked for you and prolonged the life of your cut flowers?

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10 Comments to “How to prolong the life of your cut flowers”

  1. Great tips there Es. And yes, I love baby vases far more than ornate real ones. They bring in so much comfort :)

  2. They looks so nice, thank you for the tips!

  3. Thanks for the idea, I think I’ll have to give this a try for the restaurant :)

  4. You don’t have to keep your flowers in the fridge, just move them to a cooler spot every night and keep them away from hot spots in your house — this includes being near fireplaces and heaters, and away from direct sunlight, which can harm the delicate petals.
    Temperature also matters when cutting the flowers from the garden. Cut in the morning when the temperature outside is cooler.

    • Thanks for your tips, Gracie, very good. Customers would come into the shop and buy a bouquet, then ask me if they really needed to place the flowers in the fridge (like we had them in the shop). I told them the same thing, it’s what I also do during Fall/Winter especially when the heaters are working in every room.

  5. Helpful tips! Thank you :)

    Here’s mine:
    When shopping for roses, gently squeeze the rose where the petals meet the top of the stem. If it’s soft and squishy, the roses are old and you shouldn’t buy them. If it’s firm, the roses are fresh.

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