How to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer


Whether your cut flowers are straight from the florist or from your backyard, you want to enjoy the blooms as long as possible. The Plant and Flower Association offers a few easy-to-follow steps to extend the life of your cut flowers.

Step 1

Use a sharp knife to cut an inch off the bottom of each stem. Make each cut at an angle. This helps flowers to absorb more water, more efficiently.

Step 2

Remove and discard any leaves that will be below the waterline. This will prevent leaves from absorbing water that could be taken in by the flower and also prevents bacterial microbial growth.

Step 3

Place the flowers in a clean vase and fill with cool water.

Step 4

Add a flower preservative to the water. Mix three parts water to one part lemon-lime soda for a homemade flower preservative, in lieu of the preservatives that come with commercial arrangements.

Step 5

Recut the stems every three days. Change the water and add additional flower preservative every three days.

Step 6

Keep the flowers in cool temperatures, between 65 and 72 degrees is ideal, and out of direct sunlight. Refrigerate at night if these temperatures are difficult to maintain.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Clean vase
  • Flower preservative


  • Easy Ways with Fresh Flowers
  • Flower Power: Keeping Them Alive Longer
Keywords: flower bouquets, flower arrangements, cut flower care

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.