Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Keep Flowers Fresh Overnight

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

Whether they are used in an indoor arrangement, given as a bouquet or used in corsages, cut flowers must be kept fresh to look their best. Cutting the flowers at the height of their bloom or purchasing nearly open flowers from a florist helps ensure they will continue to look good the next morning, but you can help the process with proper care. Cut flowers that are properly cared for will retain their blossoms overnight easily, and up to a week or longer if you continue to look after them.

Fill a vase with water heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Dissolve a floral preservative, available from florists, into the water.

Fill a shallow bowl with lukewarm water. Hold the stem underwater and cut the bottom ½ inch of the stem off at an angle, using a sharp knife. Remove the stem from the bowl and quickly place the flower in the vase with the preservative in it.

Place the vase in a cool room (60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit) once all the flowers have been cut and added to it. Leave the vase in this room for two to three hours or until the water cools.

Display the cut flowers in an area out of direct sunlight during the day. At night, move the flowers to a cool room or place them in the refrigerator until morning.

Replace the water and preservative in the vase if the water becomes discolored or cloudy. Replenish the water if it evaporates.


Things You Will Need

  • Vase
  • Floral preservative
  • Bowl
  • Knife


  • If the flower stems become weak, recut the bottoms at an angle. They likely are no longer absorbing water, so a fresh cut is needed.
  • If storing a bouquet or corsage overnight, cover them loosely with plastic and store in the refrigerator.


  • Do not place cut flowers near ripening fruit. Fruit emits gas that causes flowers to wilt faster.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.