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Homemade Flower Food for Fresh-Cut Flowers

By Katie Leigh ; Updated September 21, 2017

Homemade flower food helps fresh-cut flowers remain colorful and healthy-looking longer. Although store-bought cut flowers usually come with a packet of commercial flower food, hand-picked bouquets may also need the boost. If you don't having any commercial flower food around the house, it's simple to whip some up from everyday household items. The homemade flower food's components nourish the flowers, keep bacteria from forming in the water and balance the water pH by adding acidity.

Rinse and dry your quart-sized container. This is especially important if you are re-purposing a food or drink tub, as any traces of the container's previous occupant can throw off the pH balance of the homemade flower food.

Add 1 tsp. of white sugar, 2 tsp. of unsweetened lemon or lime juice (fresh-squeezed works best) and 1 tsp. of household bleach to the container. Swirl the container around slightly to mix the three ingredients.

Fill the quart-sized container with lukewarm water, stopping about an inch from the top. Stir the fresh-cut flower food until all the sugar has dissolved in the water.

Pour the homemade flower food in a vase and slide in the bouquet. Do not top off the vase with more water, as that will dilute the solution and make it less effective.

Replace the liquid with fresh flower food every three to five days, or whenever the level in the vase drops below half full. If the flower food begins to appear murky or discolored, dispose of it and refill the vase with fresh food.


Things You Will Need

  • Quart-sized container
  • White sugar
  • Unsweetened lemon or lime juice
  • Household bleach