How to Cut Flowers From the Garden


Flowers from the garden are fresher than those from the florist or floral department of a grocery store. You can grow unusual varieties of your favorite flowers in your own cutting garden. Keep the flowers fresh by properly cutting them.

Step 1

Wash out the buckets with a solution of 1 tbsp. of household bleach to 1 gallon of water. Let the solution stay in the buckets for at least 60 seconds then empty the buckets.

Step 2

Fill each bucket with ice water. Leave one bucket on the patio or in a shady place.

Step 3

Cut the flowers with as much stem as required. Taller arrangements require longer stems than short floral arrangements. Place stems immediately in a bucket of ice water. Wipe off the shears with a disinfectant handy wipe as you go from plant to plant.

Step 4

Treat any flowers with special requirements. Poppies and hollyhocks will wilt if their stems are not cauterized with a flame; daffodils need to be in their own container for an hour or they can cause other flowers placed with them to wilt; amaryllis have hollow stems that need to be filled with water.

Step 5

Carry the bucket of flowers back the bucket in the shade.

Step 6

Remove the leaves from the portion of the stem that will be underwater in the vase. Re-cut 1/2 inch of the stem and place it in the empty clean bucket of ice water. Leave the flowers in the ice water for 60 minutes. This conditions the flowers much like putting limp celery in ice water to crisp it up again.

Step 7

Bring the flowers into the kitchen by a sink. Fill the sink with water. Fill the vase with ice water. Clip the bottom of the stem 1/2 while it's under water. Immediately place it in the vase. Arrange the flowers in the vase.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't dump the bleach water on the ground after you've finished cleaning the buckets.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Buckets
  • Ice water
  • Shears
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Vase


  • "Jane Packer's Guide to Flower Arranging: Easy Techniques for Fabulous Flower Arranging"; Jane Packer, Paul Massey, and Jo Barnes; 2008

Who Can Help

  • Flower Arrangement Advisor: Flower Arranging
Keywords: cutting flowers, cut garden flowers, keep flowers fresh

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.