10 Tips on How to Keep Fresh Cut Flowers Alive Longer

Steve Betts | 13-Aug-19
Category : Florist

Read our list of tested methods for extending the life of your flowers to keep them looking fresh for longer by reducing harm providing nutrients.

There’s nothing better than coming home to the scent of your favourite flowers. But, when they die within days of buying them, purchasing flowers can sometimes seem like a waste of money. Although all flowers will die at some point after they have been picked, we have researched some of the tried and tested methods for keeping fresh cut flowers alive for longer. The key things to consider when preserving the life of your flowers is to give them nutrients to thrive ,as well as reducing the growth of bacteria in the vase water. Read on to discover our top tips on how to keep flowers alive for longer.

1. Sugar

Adding sugar to the water your flowers are living in can provide them with some of the nutrients they are missing since being cut. It is suggested that mixing a few tablespoons of sugar with two tablespoons of white vinegar in warm water can help to nourish the plant as well as reducing the growth of bacteria in the water.

2. Flower Upkeep

In addition to keeping your flowers fed and protected, it is important to cut and prune them to help them last longer. Cutting one or two inches off the flower stems at an angle helps them to absorb water more easily. The angle ensures that the flowers aren’t standing directly against the bottom of the vase and can always take on water when they need. Removing leaves that are below the water line not only makes your bouquet look nicer, but also means that more water and nutrients are used for the flower itself. Some flowers, such as roses, have guard petals and removing these can help the flowers to bloom. Best practice is to trim the stems and replace the water every few days. 

3. Coins

Using copper pennies and some sugar in the vase water is another method of extending the life of fresh flowers. Copper acts as an acidifier when mixed into the water which helps to prevent the growth and spread of bacteria and help the flowers survive longer.  

4. Bleach

To help reduce the bacteria build up in the vase water, try dropping ¼ teaspoon of bleach or three drops of bleach and a teaspoon of sugar into a litre of water. This tip also helps to prevent the vase water from going cloudy as well as preventing the growth of bacteria. 

5. Vodka

No one wants to waste good vodka, but a few drops mixed with some sugar is another tried and tested way to help flowers live longer. Again, due to its sterile nature, mixing a little vodka in with the water helps to prevent bacteria building up and killing the plant. 

6. Aspirin

A method which has been used for years is adding crushed up aspirin to the flower water to extend the life of flower bouquets. Changing the water and adding a fresh aspirin every few days is a documented way to help your flowers stay fresh for longer. 

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

With its high acidity, apple cider vinegar is a great household product you can use to help keep your flowers fresh. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar will combine perfectly with the vase water to provide nutrients and ward off harmful bacteria growth. 

8. Fizzy Drinks

As sugar is the prime way to help keep cut flowers fresh, fizzy drinks are another great method to feeding your flowers sugar. Try saving a little of your next drink (around ¼ of a cup) and pour it into the vase water. Drinks such as Sprite and 7up are ideal as they are colourless and so won’t discolour the vase water. 

 9. Hairspray

In the same way that hairspray can hold your hairstyle in place, it can do the same with your flowers. Stand back from your bouquet and gently spray the underside of the leaves and petals to help hold them in place. This tactic can help flowers look fresher for longer and reduce falling leaves and petals. 

10. Flower Storage

Where you keep your flowers will have a big impact on how long they stay fresh for. Try to place your flowers in a cool place, avoiding direct sunlight or things around the house that produce heat like radiators. Open windows, ceiling fans or cooling vents are also to be avoided as these can cause flowers to dehydrate quicker. Surprisingly, leaving your flowers near fresh fruit can also damage them as fruit gives off small amounts of ethylene gas which can reduce the life of flowers. 

Above are all great tips and tricks to keep your flowers fresh. However, we would always advise you use the flower food that is provided with your flowers and follow the instructions provided to keep them looking fresh for longer. 

For fresh flowers all year round, why not sign up to our subscription service? Get bouquets of your choice delivered to your door every month and always have fresh flowers to greet you when you get home. Alternatively, browse our full range of flowers for all occasions, from birthdays and weddings to funerals and corporate, we’ve got you covered. Same day delivery to the Birmingham and Solihull area and free UK delivery available.