How to Water Cuttings


Fresh cuttings from the garden are a perk that most gardeners enjoy. Blooming flowers and lush greens, such as ferns, can make the inside of your home as beautiful as the outside. You should take cuttings in the morning and place them in a bucket of room-temperature water immediately to start the initial uptake of water. For a longer lasting display of blooms, flowers should be partially or just about to bloom when you cut them.

Step 1

Recut your cutting ½ to 1 inch from the bottom at a 45-degree angle, which allows the cuttings to absorb more moisture. Use sharp, clean hand clippers.

Step 2

Pinch off all the leaves on the bottom of the cutting that will be sitting in water. Otherwise, they will rot and turn the water sour quickly.

Step 3

Fill the container with lukewarm water that is between 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Cuttings absorb warm water faster than cold water.

Step 4

Add a preservative. If you have cuttings from a florist, add and mix the preservative packet that was included to the correct amount of water that is labeled on the package (usually a quart). Alternatively, add 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, 1 tbsp. of sugar and ½ tsp. of chlorine bleach to every 1 qt. of water.

Step 5

Arrange your cuttings in the container with water. Recut the stem bottoms every two to three days for maximum water absorption. Add water as needed and change the water completely when it clouds or has a foul smell.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Container
  • Hand clippers
  • Floral preservative


  • University Of Illinois Extension: Cut Flower Care
Keywords: water cuttings, water cut flowers, water cut plants

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.