Gardenia flowers possess a distinct, sweet, heavy scent used to provide fragrance to perfumes, candles and scented oils. The flower is fragile and will quickly brown and bruise if roughly handled. Keeping the cut gardenia flower fresh for a longer period will begin when it is removed from the gardenia bush. Choosing to leave gardenia flowers on the bush and proper handling can keep them looking fresh longer.
Wipe the blades of gardening shears with rubbing alcohol to sanitize them before cutting or pruning the gardenia bush.
Hold the flower by the stem when cutting flowers from the bush as oils from your hands will cause the petals to darken.
Keep the flower stems in water to hydrate. Add floral preservative to the water, following the directions on the packets.
Place cut gardenia arrangements out of direct sunlight and heat generating appliances. Cooler room temperatures will help the cut flowers last longer.
Place a gardenia flower in a plastic container that isn't air tight and store in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours; this makes a nice corsage.