Tips to Keep Flowers Alive

Fresh-cut flowers from the garden or a specially delivered floral bouquet will cheer up a room. But, when the flowers begin to wilt, the once pretty arrangement can turn from cheerful to pitiful in a matter of hours. Some florist arrangements can be rather pricey and it is a good idea to extend the life of your bouquets, so you can enjoy them for a longer period. The same tricks you apply to the florist flowers can be used on the fresh cut flowers you've brought in from the garden.


If you've purchased a bundle of flowers at the grocery store or corner flower shop, put them in a vase with water when you get home. Chances are you must trim the stems a bit, before arranging the flowers. Even if the stems don't need to be shorter, cut off about 1 to 2-inches of the stem, before putting the flowers in water.


Removing flowers in the garden is one way to encourage new bud growth on your bushes. The same principle can be applied to your cut flowers or bouquets. Remove buds as they begin to wilt, which will make it easier for the remaining flowers to last a little longer. If a leaf or stem has been broken or is visibly dying, snip it from the flower arrangement. Not only will it improve the appearance of the arrangement, it will enable it to live a bit longer.


Just like your flowers outside, your cut flowers need water to survive. Don't give the flowers soft water. It should be room temperature, not too hot or cold. When flowers arrive from the florist, they normally come with a packet of floral preservatives, which you must add to the water by following the instructions on the packet. If you don't have floral preservatives, add an aspirin or a little Listerine to the water. Both aspirin and Listerine fight bacterial growth, while Listerine also gives the flowers some sugar they can use as food. Replace the water if it becomes cloudy.


Keep the flowers in a cool location and out of direct sunlight. At the florist, the flowers are kept in refrigeration, which helps them live longer. While it would be difficult to enjoy your flowers if you stick them in the refrigerator, consider the room's temperature before choosing the flowers' location. Don't put them near the furnace, fireplace or heat generating appliance.

Keywords: fresh cut flower, Keep Flowers Alive, flower arrangement care

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.