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.
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.
Fill a bucket with clean, lukewarm water to place the flowers in.
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.
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.
Fill a vase with lukewarm water. Add a packet of floral preservative, available from florists.
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.