How to Keep Fresh Flowers Longer

5 Minutes

Looking for ways to prolong the life of your fresh cut flowers? Learn how to keep fresh flowers longer in a few simple steps.

Whether you grow your own flowers to cut or pick them up at the local market, there’s nothing quite like a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers.

While I’ve been growing beautiful flower gardens throughout my landscape for over 20 years, I was not cutting much of the blooms to enjoy indoors.

Isn’t that crazy?

I chose not to cut a lot because I grow several different plant varieties on half an acre of property.

Which might sound like a lot, but because there are so many different plants, I enjoy them more IN my garden rather than inside my home.

But I’m changing my tune.

To break away from that line of thinking, I decided to focus more on growing flowers that are better for cutting.

Last year, I started growing dahlias.

Oh the dahlias.

They really stole my heart!

There are so many different unique varieties and they make a great late summer/early fall addition to the cottage garden.

And because I loved growing them so much, I decided to start seeds indoors and expand my gardens to include more flowers for cutting.

Since I do not have a greenhouse, I designed THIS set-up in my basement that turned into a successful greenhouse.

I grew over 1000 flowers indoors that are not readily available at local nurseries.

So my garden was really fun to grow this year.

And because I grew almost too many flowers for cutting, I’ve been heading out almost daily to make new arrangements, bouquets and centerpieces for myself, family and friends.

It’s been pure joy to play with flowers all season long.

And I’ve learned a few good tips to prolong the life of fresh cut flowers.

Here’s what you need to do.

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How to Keep Fresh Flowers Longer

There’s nothing like a beautiful arrangement of fresh cut flowers, am I right?

Flowers make people happy.

And since we want to enjoy them for as long as possible, follow these tips to keep them fresher for longer.

Before – this arrangement is on it’s way out. Time to make a new one!
Always Start With a Clean Vase or Floral Foam

To eliminate harmful bacteria, always clean your vase or container vessel with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.

And if you are using floral foam?

Don’t re-use it.

I know it might seem more economical to get a few uses out of it, but the flowers DO NOT APPRECIATE the economics as much as we do.

So always start with fresh blocks.

If you want to cut down on costs, cut the blocks down to a minimum size for use.

THESE are the floral foam blocks I’ve been using.

Wash container vessels well with one part bleach to 10 parts water.
Prepare Each Flower for the Arrangement
  • When cutting your own flowers, always cut them at a 45 degree angle. Cutting them at a 45 degree angle keeps them from sitting flat and promotes better water consumption.
  • Drop fresh cuts immediately in room temperature water.
  • Remove all leaves and lower stems that will sit in any water. Anything left under the waterline will rot and cause the flowers to prematurely decline in the arrangement.
  • If some time elapsed after cutting your blooms, I make a second fresh cut on a 45 degree angle just before I drop it in the arrangement.
  • Tip: whenever you are cutting flowers, make sure you clean your snips in between varieties so you don’t pass any problems to other plants,.
Always cut flowers on a 45 degree angle.
Feeding Fresh Cut Flowers to Prolong Their Vase Life

If you have access to cut flower food, that provides a great source of nutrition for arrangement blooms.

HERE is one of the types that I use.

How to Make Fresh Cut Flower Food

But you can also DIY a cut flower food recipe using 2 aspirins, 1 teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of bleach (to kill harmful bacteria).

It is harder to feed fresh cut flowers if they are sitting in floral foam, so I use that formula per a quart of water when watering the blooms.

This method seems to help.

Keep flowers hydrated with clean water.
Keep the Water Clean

Refreshing the water will reduce harmful bacteria and help prolong the life of fresh cut flowers.

Keep an eye on the water level and change the water every few days to ensure a longer, fresher bloom.

An important note about watering, do not use hot water. It’s not good for the flowers.

In general, room temperature water is best.

Location Location Location

Keep fresh cut flowers in a cool dry place that is away from heating, vents and direct sunlight.

I also suggest putting them in a location where if it leaks any water, you won’t damage anything.

Or you can use something like THIS or THIS under your arrangement, depending on how fancy you want to get.

And that’s it!

Tell me, do you have any tips for how to make fresh flowers last longer?

I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Happy Gardening!

Want to See How to Make a Fresh Flower Centerpiece for the Dining Table?

Wait until you see how I made this gorgeous centerpiece for our last dinner party.

Click on the link below to watch this flower arrangement come together!

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

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Stacy Ling | Bricks 'n Blooms
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Julie Julie on Nov 01, 2021

    I noticed you have clay pots inverted and placed on top of something throughout the garden. Please explain your reason for doing this.

    Also how do you keep your Dalias from falling down and looking unkempt? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  • Brenda Ginnett Brenda Ginnett on Nov 02, 2021

    Why the upside down clay pots in the garden on sticks?

  • Sherry Sherry on Nov 02, 2021

    Gorgeous garden, arrangements, and wonderful advice. I, too, would love to know about the little pots on posts. Thank you.


Join the conversation

2 of 3 comments
  • Michelle Michelle on Nov 01, 2021

    I would like to thank you for the great advice you have posted about flower care. I am a floral designer and would like to suggest one more care technique that needs to be followed. Hydrangeas are very thirsty flowers. The second you cut them, they must immediately be put in water or they will wilt within hours. Also, before you cut them, take off ALL the leaves up to the base of the flower. The leaves will absorb the water first before the flower can get any resulting in a wilted flower. Thank you again and keep up the great work! The dahlias are beautiful!!

  • Melodie Melodie on Nov 02, 2021

    Omg….I'm GREEN with envy about your GREEN thumb! Such an AWESOME & BEAUTIFUL garden. Your Flowers are spectacular! 🌺 🌸 💐