You've just received a beautiful vase of fresh flowers from the florist and want to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Commercial flower preservatives are available, but you're capable of preserving the flowers yourself. The task is simple, won't take a lot of work or time, and will save you a few dollars.
Remove the flowers from the vase. Remove all leaves from the stems that will be below water when in the vase, using scissors.
Cut 1/2 inch from the stems with the scissors. Plunge the flowers immediately into ice water in a bucket for 30 to 60 minutes to hydrate the flowers. This works on the same principle as crisping vegetables like carrot and celery sticks.
Mix 1 tbsp. bleach and 1 qt of water in a container. Pour the mixture into the vase and clean the vase with the mixture. Let it set for 10 minutes. Rinse and dry.
Fill the vase with fresh ice water. Put the flowers back into the vase.
Snip 1/2 inch from the flower stems daily, using scissors. Rinse the stems off under tap water. Dump out the old water and refill with fresh ice water. The flowers will stay fresher longer.