How To Feed Cut Flowers


If you take care of cut flowers, they can last longer than they otherwise would. One of the most important components to make cut flowers last longer is feeding them. According to the University of Illinois, they can last several days and sometimes up to twice as long, if you properly feed them. Cut flowers are fed with a floral preservative, which can be commercially prepared or prepared from common household ingredients.

Step 1

Use the floral preservative that came with your cut flowers, if applicable. Follow the dosing instructions on the label to know the proper dilution rate, but generally it is mixed with 1 qt. of warm water. Stir it in well before placing the cut flowers in the water.

Step 2

Make your own floral preservative if you don't have a pre-made packet. There are many floral preservative recipes you can make, such as mixing 2 tbsp. of white vinegar, 2 tsp. of sugar and ½ tsp. of chlorine bleach with 1 qt. of warm water.

Step 3

Recut the stems at a 45-degree angle about one-fourth to one-half inch from the bottom to increase water uptake, and immediately arrange them in the container with the floral preservative. Also, pinch off any leaves that will set in water to prevent the water from going bad too quickly.

Step 4

Examine the water. When it looks cloudy, looks dirty or smells bad, change the water. Wash the container and then mix the floral preservative (or homemade version) with new warm water. Wash off the flower stems, then recut and arrange them in the new water.

Things You'll Need

  • Floral preservative
  • Hand clippers


  • University of Illinois: Care of Cut Flowers and Foliage
Keywords: feed cut flowers, preserve cut flowers, floral preservative

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.