How to Take Care of Cut Plants


Plants are often cut and used in floral arrangements. Whether you are getting your cut plants from the florist or fresh from your garden, they are treated in a similar manner. From the garden, cut either the green portions of the plant (such as fern fronds) or the flower stalks with blooming flowers. For all cut plants, apply some general rules to help keep them fresh longer. Then, enjoy your floral display for many more days than you otherwise would.

Step 1

Cut the plant parts or flowers in the early morning or late evening when they are well hydrated. Cut using sharp hand clippers and make a clean straight cut. If you are cutting flowers, choose flowers with blooms that are just opening, not open yet or have some blooms that are open and some that are not.

Step 2

Place the cutting directly in a small bucket of warm water after cutting. Leave them in the water for two hours before placing them in floral arrangements.

Step 3

Cut off any extra foliage that you don't need. Also cut off all the foliage that will be sitting in water.

Step 4

Fill your vase or container with water and add a packet of floral preservatives. Alternatively, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, add some 7-Up (about 2 to 3 tbsp.) and two to three drops of chlorine bleach.

Step 5

Recut the bottom (1/2 to 1 inch) of the plant at a 45-degree angle to allow more area for the plant to soak in water. Then, arrange the cut plants in your container.

Step 6

Set the arrangement out of the sunlight and away from heat sources, such as radiators, televisions and heat vents. Avoid areas with air drafts.

Step 7

Place your floral arrangement in a cooler area when you are not enjoying it, such as in the refrigerator or unheated room. Bring them back out when desired.

Step 8

Keep the water deep enough to cover the bottom of the plants, but a couple inches more will require less watering. Replace the water every four to five days.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand clippers
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Container
  • Plant preservative


  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Extend the Life of Cut Flowers
Keywords: care cut plants, care cut flowers, preserve cut flowers

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.