How to Keep Gardenia Flowers Fresh


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.

Step 1

Wipe the blades of gardening shears with rubbing alcohol to sanitize them before cutting or pruning the gardenia bush.

Step 2

Hold the flower by the stem when cutting flowers from the bush as oils from your hands will cause the petals to darken.

Step 3

Keep the flower stems in water to hydrate. Add floral preservative to the water, following the directions on the packets.

Step 4

Place cut gardenia arrangements out of direct sunlight and heat generating appliances. Cooler room temperatures will help the cut flowers last longer.

Step 5

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.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't store the flowers in the a refrigerator with produce, as the gas from fruits and vegetables can encourage aging of the gardenia. Keep the gardenia plant's soil moist, never allowing it to completely dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Floral preservative
  • Plastic container


  • University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service: Common Gardenia
  • University of Minnesota: Keeping Cut Flowers and Flowering Plants
Keywords: cut gardenia, keeping gardenia flowers, gardenia corsage care

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.