How to Preserve Fresh Live Flowers


Fresh flowers are an asset to any room and brighten every décor. Flowers on the kitchen table are inviting. An orchid in the bathroom is elegant. A bouquet of roses on the entryway credenza says welcome. Guests appreciate the thoughtfulness of a nosegay bouquet in the guestroom. Flowers are not an extravagance whether purchased from the florist or cut from the garden. Preserve cut flowers with a few simple tips.

Step 1

Pick flowers in the morning before the heat of the day has a chance to dehydrate them. Carry a bucket of water with you and put the flowers in immediately after cutting.

Step 2

Cut the stems of the flowers at a 45-degree angle and put in iced water for at least 60 minutes. This works on the same principle as crisping celery or reviving limp lettuce. Remove all leaves on the flower stems that will be underwater.

Step 3

Wash the vase with soapy water and bleach. Add 1 tsp. of bleach per gallon of water. Let the bleach mixture stand for a few minutes. Empty and rinse well. Fill with iced water.

Step 4

Cut the stems again to the length you prefer for the vase. Immediately put each flower in the vase. Don't wait until you have cut all the flowers to put them in the vase

Step 5

Change the water in the vase daily. Remove the flowers from the vase and rinse the stems under cold running water.

Step 6

Cut an inch from the stems every other day. Remove any wilted flowers or any stems that look slimy even if the flower hasn't wilted yet.

Tips and Warnings

  • Most homemade concoctions like adding sugar to the water or a penny don't have much effect.


  • "Jane Packer's Guide to Flower Arranging: Easy Techniques for Fabulous Flower Arranging"; Jane Packer, Paul Massey, and Jo Barnes; 2008

Who Can Help

  • How to Arrange Flowers
Keywords: preserve cut flowers, how to keep flowers fresh, keeping cut flowers fresh

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.