Caring for Fresh-Cut Flowers

Keep cut flowers in an even-temperature room out of direct sun. image by Phanuphong Paothong:


Bouquets of bright-colored cut flowers liven up your rooms. Cutting flowers from the garden for your arrangements encourages continued bloom production by many plant varieties. Proper care to extend the life of the cut flowers before the blooms fade is beneficial whether the blooms come from your garden or a store. While certain flower varieties require specific care, there are general care requirements that apply to nearly all cut flowers.

Step 1

Cut flowers from the garden in the morning. Choose firm stems that are full of moisture. Limp stems will lead to quicker fading once cut.

Step 2

Place the cut flowers in water immediately. In the garden, have a bucket of water nearby to prop the flowers in. Place store-bought bouquets in a vase of water as soon as feasible.

Step 3

Choose flowers that have at least one open bud on each stem. Avoid stems with tightly closed buds as the stem will whither before the bud has a chance to open.

Step 4

Remove leaves and flowers from the bottom part of the stem. Cut off all leaves that will be below the water line once placed in the vase.

Step 5

Cut the stems of store-bought flowers to aid water absorption. Cut the bottom half-inch of stem off at an angle and immediately place in water. Refill the vase as needed to keep the water level constant.

Step 6

Keep flowers away from drafts and direct sunlight. An even-temperature room is best.

Step 7

Add a commercial flower-preserving compound to the water. Follow package instructions for the particular brand and flower type.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep flowers away from bowls of fruit, which emit ethylene gas and wilt flowers. Remove wilted flowers from the arrangement immediately to help preserve the other blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Bucket
  • Vase
  • Preserving compound


  • Brooklyn Botanical Garden
  • Plant Tea
Keywords: cut flower care, flower bouquet, flower arrangements

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Phanuphong Paothong: