How to Keep Flowers Fresh for Longer


Fresh cut flowers don't last long in a vase of plain water. Bacteria will grow and cause the flowers to die quickly. Flowers also need a food source that contains sugar to keep them alive. Fortunately, you probably have the ingredients in your home needed keep your freshly cut flowers alive longer. You just need to learn what they are and how to use them.

Step 1

Fill a flower vase with water. Leave a little room at the top, but in general you want your vase to be at least three-fourths full.

Step 2

Add a bacterial inhibitor to the water in the vase, such as bleach, a copper penny, or vodka. You only need to choose one of these--1/4 tsp. bleach, one copper penny or three drops of vodka is enough to stop bacteria from killing your flowers.

Step 3

Add a food source to the water in your vase. You can either use 3 tbsp. of sugar or 1/4 cup of soda.

Step 4

Use a pair of garden scissors to cut your flower from its plant. Make sure you cut the stem at an angle so that the flower has the best chance of absorbing the food and water from the vase.

Step 5

Place your flowers in the vase immediately after you have cut them.

Step 6

Place your flowers in a cool spot. According to Teleflora, flowers prefer temperatures of 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • Bleach, copper penny, or vodka
  • Sugar or soda
  • Gardening scissors
  • Flowers


  • Reader's Digest: 8 Ways to Make Flowers Last Longer
  • Teleflora: Fresh Flower Care
Keywords: keeping flowers fresh, preserving flowers, homemade flower food

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.