The Best Way to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh for the Longest Time


Cut flowers provide gardeners with the means to bring the glory of their outdoor space into the house. While freshly-cut flowers are a wonder to behold, wilted, dropping blossoms look unkempt and a bit sad. Keeping cut flowers fresh is an important part of constructing an attractive arrangement. A fresh bouquet can be used to brighten up the dining room table, create a seasonal end table display, adorn an empty mantle or add a welcoming touch to a guest room.

Step 1

Rinse out the vase or other container that will hold your flowers. Even if the vase was previously cleaned, this step is useful for washing away dust that may have built up in the container.

Step 2

Fill the container with water warmed to approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix in one packet, or one tablespoon of flower food.

Step 3

Hold the stem of the cut flower under warm running water. Trim the stem at a 45 degree angle with sharp shears to increase the available surface area for absorbing water. Remove any leaves which will fall below the water line in the container.

Step 4

Place the flower directly into the water-filled container. Keeping cut stems in the open air will prevent the maximum absorption of water later on, so you should keep your flowers in water as much as possible.

Step 5

Display the cut flowers in a cool area, away from direct sunlight, drafts and hot spots. Keep in mind that electronics such as a stereo or television set will create hot spots.

Step 6

Change the water and trim another inch off the ends of the stems every three days to prolong the life span of the cut flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Water
  • Flower food
  • Shears


  • Real Simple: How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Keeping Cut Flowers and Flowering Plants
  • CBS News: Flower Power: Keeping Them Alive Longer
Keywords: cut flowers, fresh flowers, keeping flowers fresh

About this Author

Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.