How to Keep Fresh Cut Flowers From Wilting


Adding beauty to a room with fresh cut flowers is a delight for gardeners who wish to enjoy the fruits of their labor of love indoors. To prolong the life of your favorite blooms, follow a few easy sanitation and feeding guidelines that will ensure success.

Step 1

Thoroughly wash a vase in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Removing any bacteria from the container is essential for preventing bacteria from shortening the life of your cut flowers.

Step 2

Fill the vase with hot water that is 100 degrees. Mix 4 tbsp. of white granulated sugar and 2 tbsp. of distilled white vinegar into the water and stir until completely dissolved. The sugar will feed the cut flowers and the vinegar will help keep germs at bay.

Step 3

Gather cut flowers and immediately recut the stems at an angle under running water that is room temperature. Avoid crushing or splitting the stems, which inhibits water intake by the blooms. Remove any foliage that will rest below the water line as a preventive measure against bacteria development.

Step 4

Keep the arrangement in a cool room away from heat sources, drafts and direct sunlight.

Step 5

Every other day, change the vase water and add more food mixture. Check the stems for browning or sappiness, and recut at an angle, if necessary. Remove any leaves, buds or stems that are wilted or dead to protect the freshness of lingering blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • 100 degree water
  • 4 tbsp. white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • Sharp scissors/floral shears
  • Cut flowers


  • University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Extend the Life of Cut Flowers
  • Martha Stewart: Martha's Flower Arranging Tips
Keywords: fresh cut flowers, floral food, floral food recipes

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.