How to Cut a Flower


Cut flowers provide a fresh, decorative touch to any home. Flowers, whether grown at home or commercially, require special care when cut and removed from their source of food and water, advises Mary H. Meyer, a horticulturist for the University of Minnesota Extension. Treat flowers with special care when cutting for longer-lasting, healthy blooms.

Step 1

Cut flowers in the morning, before the heat of the day, but after the dew has evaporated. Dry, but not hot flowers are at their peak; they will be much less likely to wilt or die quickly.

Step 2

Fill a bucket with clean, lukewarm water to place the flowers in.

Step 3

Cut the stem with a pair of sharp, clean garden shears or scissors. Cut at a 45-degree angle to facilitate water absorption once placed in water.

Step 4

Place the stems of the cut flowers immediately in the water-filled bucket. The shock of being removed from the plant is quite harsh on flowers; they benefit from having immediate access to fresh water.

Step 5

Fill a vase with lukewarm water. Add a packet of floral preservative, available from florists.

Step 6

Pinch off any lower leaves on the stems that will be submerged below water. Recut 1 or 2 inches from the stem ends at an angle under lukewarm running water. Immediately place the stems of the flowers in the vase.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Garden shears or scissors
  • Vase
  • Floral preservative


  • Texas A&M Extension: Cutflower Gardening
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Keeping Cut Flowers and Flowering Plants
Keywords: cutting flowers, harvest flowers, cut fresh flowers

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.