How to Make Fresh-Cut Flowers Last Longer


Nothing is more rewarding than to bring the fragrant scents and vibrant colors of your flower garden indoors. Bouquets of all sizes and blooms add warmth and pleasure to any room. Too often, though, your efforts in cutting and arranging your flowers are short lived, as the blooms quickly wilt and die. Luckily, there are easy things you can do to extend the life of your fresh-cut flower bouquet.

Step 1

Use a clean sharp cutting tool, like shears, clippers or a knife, to cut your fresh flowers. Cut them early in the morning when the blooms are refreshed from the cool night and the stems are firm with water.

Step 2

Place the cut stems immediately into a plastic bucket or container filled with lukewarm water. The longer flower stems are in open air the more likely they are to have taken up air bubbles, which will later block their ability to take up water.

Step 3

Custom cut each stem before placing it into your vase. The custom cut should be done about 1 inch up from the original harvesting cut on the main stem and at a forty-five degree angle. This angle will allow the maximum amount of water into the flower stem.

Step 4

Place the flowers into your vase filled with lukewarm water and either a commercial floral preservative or the following homemade flower preservative: 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon household bleach 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice 1 quart water

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep your fresh-cut flower bouquet away from drafts and direct sunlight. Both will shorten the life of cut flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, sharp cutting tool, clippers, shears or knife
  • Plastic container or bucket
  • Lukewarm water
  • Sugar
  • Household bleach
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Vase


  • Preserving Cut Flowers
  • Cut Flower Care
Keywords: make flowers last, preparing flower bouquets, cut flowers from the garden

About this Author

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.