How to Make Flowers Last Longer

Tulip arrangement image by Mackenzie Day:


Displaying flowers in the home in vases and other vessels brings the bright colors of the outdoors inside. Preserving the blooms for the longest possible period saves money if you purchase your bouquets. Proper care will ensure that each flower continues to bloom for the maximum time once cut. Always choose flowers with buds that haven't opened up all the way so you can enjoy more blooms after the initial ones have faded.

Step 1

Fill a vase with water that is 110 degree F for most blooms. Use room-temperature water for daffodils and tulips.

Step 2

Add a commercial preservative to the water and mix until it is dissolved. Use a floral preservative that has a combination of sucrose, an acidifier and a respiratory inhibitor.

Step 3

Remove any leaves that will be below the water line from the stem of each flower. Cut them off with a sharp knife at their juncture to the stem.

Step 4

Hold the stem end under the water with one hand and cut off the bottom 1 inch at an angle with a knife using your other hand. This creates the maximum surface for water absorption, and cutting underwater prevents any air bubbles from entering the stem and weakening it.

Step 5

Place the flowers in a cool room away from drafty windows, doors and air vents. Keep your arrangement in the refrigerator if you will be gone for extended periods throughout the day and display the flowers when you return.

Step 6

Refill the container with water and preservative whenever the water level drops. Use room-temperature water for refills.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never place bowls of fruit near cut flowers, as this will cause them to wilt faster.

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • Preservative
  • Knife


  • University of Minnesota Extension
Keywords: cut flower care, vase arrangements, extending bloom life

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: Mackenzie Day: