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What to Put in Water to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh

By T.M. Samuels ; Updated September 21, 2017

For cut flower arrangements to last as long as possible, add some things to the water to increase their life. Lengthen cut flower freshness by a few easy ways other than water additions, such as making daily water changes and keeping the flowers away from a hot or cold air vent.


Putting ¼ cup of clear soda into vase water can extend flower life. It will make blooms last longer. While you can add colored soda pop to the mix, it is best not to do this in a clear vase as it will make the water brown.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Adding 2 tbsp. of sugar with 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar can help extend cut flower life. Make sure the water is changed daily and add a new batch of vinegar and sugar each time.


An antibacterial, adding a few drops of vodka to the flower’s water can help kill bacteria growth in the water. Adding a teaspoon of sugar can provide the flower with nutrients.


Sugar is a key ingredient in several of these homemade flower extending formulas because it acts like a preservative. Mix 3 tbsp. with 2 tbsp. of white vinegar in a quart of water for a versatile mixture.


Crushed aspirin can add to flower life and keep blooms open longer before wilting. Change water every couple of days with a new crushed aspirin added each time.


Adding a penny to the water adds copper and with the addition of a sugar cube, it will help add nutrients to the water and keep the flowers living longer.


About the Author


T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.