How to Preserve Cut Flowers Safely


It does not matter whether you cut flowers from your garden or get them from a florist, you want them to last for as long as possible. Many people believe only a commercial flower preservative will keep cut flowers fresh and preserved, but this can be expensive if you change the water in your vase every day or two. Plus, how safe are those chemical florist preservatives? You can make a simple, safe cut flower preservative yourself from ingredients you already have in your home.

Prepare the Flower Stems

Step 1

Trim the stems of your cut flowers, using a sharp knife instead of scissors. Scissors, no matter how sharp they are, tend to crimp and close off the ends of flower stems. This crimping closes off the stem from being able to take up the full amount of water it needs to stay fresh.

Step 2

Cut about an inch off the end of each flower stem. The cut should be at a 45-degree angle so it is the maximum amount of cut exposure for water uptake.

Step 3

Re-cut about an inch off the stems of your fresh flowers every two or three days. By re-cutting the stems you continue to re-open the stems so they can take up plenty of water. The more water your flowers can absorb, the fresher they will stay longer.

Make Your Own Safe Flower Preservative-Recipe #1

Step 1

Use a clean,one-quart container to mix your flower preservative.

Step 2

Mix one can of non-diet lemon lime soda with three parts warm water. The soda provides food (sugar) for your fresh cut flowerst. The citrus of the soda helps your flowers uptake water more fully and faster.

Step 3

Add 1/2 tsp. bleach to your soda water before using it for your flowers.. The bleach will help kill any bacteria that develop in your flower water.

Flower Preservative Recipe No. 2

Step 1

Fill a clean one-quart container with warm water.

Step 2

Add 2 tbsp. of lemon or lime juice, 1 tsp.sugar and 1/2 tsp. bleach to the warm warm in the container.

Step 3

Pour this preservative mixture into the vase you arrange your flowers in.

Step 4

Change the water in your flower vase every day or two, using your flower preservative mixture, to keep your cut flowers fresher longer.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh cut flowers
  • Sharp knife
  • Vase
  • Quart container
  • Warm water
  • Lemon/lime soda (non-diet) OR
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Sugar
  • Bleach


  • Preserving Cut Flowers
  • Preserving Cut Flowers Naturally
Keywords: keep flowers fresh, homemade flower preserver, homemade florist preservative

About this Author

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.