Homemade Cut Flower Preservative


If you receive cut flowers in an arrangement or cut your own blossoms, retain the vibrancy of these plants with a homemade preservative. Commercial preservatives are available from a florist, but consider using a do-it-yourself recipe so that you do not have to purchase anything and have the convenience of quickly being able to obtain more if you need it. Making your own cut flower preservative requires only a few common household ingredients.

Step 1

Wash a vase with hot water and soap to prepare it for the flowers and the homemade preservative. Do not use an unwashed vase as this encourages the growth of bacteria that will shorten the lifespan of your blossoms.

Step 2

Fill the vase with a quart of lukewarm water and then pour in 1 tsp. of sugar, 1 tsp. of household bleach and 2 tsp. of lemon or lime juice. This combination of ingredients fights bacteria, aids in the flower cell metabolism and ensures that the plants continue to absorb water.

Step 3

Monitor the water level inside the vase and add more water with the preservative mixture when needed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never use a pair of scissors or a dull knife to cut the flower stems because this can damage the plant in the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • Dish soap
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. household bleach
  • 2 tsp. lemon or lime juice


  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Cut-Flower Care--How to Make Your Fresh-Cut Flowers Last

Who Can Help

  • Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers: Overview
  • California Cut Flower Commission: Homepage
Keywords: cut flowers, homemade cut flower preservative, flower preservatives

About this Author

Jenny Glass has been writing professionally since 2001 and is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. In addition to writing for Demand Studios, she has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" and runs her own art glass business.