Prolonging the Beauty of Your Fresh Cut Flowers

Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the #1 holiday for florists and floral purchases? (cred:

Who doesn’t love the look of fresh cut flowers? But they die, right? So why waste the money? I read somewhere recently that keeping fresh flowers in your space can reduce stress. Well then I’m thinking I need them in all my areas, how ’bout you?

So if you’re in the majority that received flowers for Valentine’s Day, or any other day, I want to show you what I do to my fresh cut flowers that will typically make them last longer.

Now, I have to stress that this isn’t a fool proof system, many factors can affect the longevity of your fresh cut flowers; how old they were when they were purchased and the air quality in the area they will stay are just a couple. This is what typically works for me.

First, take your flowers out of their packaging. I run lukewarm water in the kitchen sink and fill it up enough to cover about 1/3 of the bottom of the stems and gently lay them in the water (bottom of the stems only, not the whole flower, lol)

Make sure your vase (or container of your choice) is clean. I fill it up, also with lukewarm water about 1/2 way, and add 1/2 of the flower food that typically comes with fresh cut flowers. Save the other 1/2 of the flower food for later. If you do not have this, you can place an aspirin in the water. This will help reduce the bacteria in the water.

Figure out how much of the bottom of the stems you need to cut in order for the flowers to be the height you want. Note: make sure you don’t make them too short, you’ll be cutting them again in a few days to a week if they stay “fresh”. Remove any leaves from the stems that are in danger of being submerged in the vase/container of water. Leaves and fallen petals in the water create bacteria and will cause the flowers to wilt sooner. (See pic below)

Take each stem and make the cut at a 45 degree angle, while under the water. The angle cut allows more water to enter the stem. I then take the stem out of the water and place it directly into the vase/container of fresh water & food. . I try to not let air hit the fresh cut part of the stem for too long, because as air flows through the stem, air pockets occur and prevent water absorption. Cutting them under the water reduces the risk of air pockets.

Ideal temperature in the space your flowers will be displayed is between 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep them away from heating and cooling vents or near tv’s. Heat will increase the water evaporation rate and your flowers will dehydrate. Also keep your fresh cut flowers away from fruit. Fruit releases ethylene gas and will wilt your flowers sooner.

Each week I do the process over again, discarding any flowers that unfortunately didn’t make it through the week. (This is where you use the rest of your food packet. I like to get a small fresh cut bouquet from the grocery store and add them to the flowers that “made the cut” for the week.

I hope this helps you enjoy your flowers for longer than just a couple of days!