Ways to Keep Flowers Fresh

Fresh flowers, so beautiful when cut and initially arranged in a vase, can lose their color and fade in no time at all. If bacteria is allowed to flourish, it will block the stems' water-transporting vessels. If the flowers aren't fed, they'll soon wilt and wither. But if you take good care of your flowers, you can keep them looking lovely for up to a week.


Keep cut flowers away from direct heat and sunlight. A temperature range between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Avoid areas where vents or fans constantly blow. Additionally, keep cut flowers away from ripening fruit, since the ethylene gas fruit releases upon ripening can speed up your flowers' aging process.

Daily Care

Each day, pour out the old water, clean the vase and refill with fresh room-temperature water up to within an inch or two of the rim. Remove any dried or withered flower parts and ensure no debris is floating in the water. This prevents bacteria from building up.

Feed Your Flowers

Florists and nurseries provide "flower food," a mix of ingredients that help nourish cut flowers and prevent bacteria build-up. Add some every time you clean and fill the vase with fresh water. Be sure to follow the directions on the flower food package.

Trim the Stems

Flower stems should be trimmed every few days to re-open the vessels that transport water up the stems to the blossoms. Using a sharp knife or a pair of floral scissors, slice off between three-quarters of an inch to an inch. Do this at an angle to maximize the vessel openings.

Change the Container

Regularly trimming stems and removing withered blossoms means your flowers will become shorter and fewer over time. Consider moving them to a smaller vase or other container to provide them with better physical support and to complement the changing size of the flower arrangement.

Keywords: long-lasting bouquet, keeping cut flowers, flower food

About this Author

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little is a freelance writer, blogger, and Web designer from New Orleans. She is a graduate of the professional SF/F workshop Viable Paradise (2006). Recent published work appears at Ideomancer.com (as Nicole J. LeBoeuf), StyleCareer.com and Pangaia.com.