A cut floral arrangement can add pleasing scents and lively colors to any room, bringing the beauty of nature indoors. As soon as the flowers are cut from the plant, they begin losing their natural energy and perkiness. Several management strategies can help you keep your bouquets looking fresh and vibrant for as long as possible so you can enjoy your cut floral arrangements for many weeks.
Clean your vase by scrubbing it with a sponge and water. A dirty vase encourages bacteria growth which plugs the ends of your flower stems and makes them fade and die faster. The University of Illinois suggests filling the vase with water, adding a cap-full of standard household bleach and letting it sit for a few minutes to ensure proper sterilization. Rinse after soaking.
Fill the vase half full with water and add a floral preservative mix, available from all floral shops. The University of Minnesota says the preservative mix inhibits bacteria growth and provides the flowers with energy to keep them looking fresh longer.
Prepare your cut flowers for the vase. Trim 1/2 inch or more off of the bottom of each flower stem, or as needed to make them the proper height that you want. Hold the stems against the outside of the vase and remove any leaves that will be submerged once the flowers are placed in the vase.
Put the flowers in the vase. For the longest floral life, the University of Nebraska recommends putting the vase in an area that's not exposed to direct sunlight and is free from cold or hot drafts. In the evening or when the vase isn't on display, put it in your refrigerator to further extend the flowers' life.
Change the water every couple of days, reports the University of Illinois. When replenishing the water, remember to add new floral preservative mix.