Whether you received a bouquet as a gift or treated yourself to one, you’ll want to keep your fresh cut flowers alive and looking fabulous for as long as possible.
As professional florists with decades of experience working with fresh blooms, we know a thing or two about keeping flowers vase fresh.
Quick and simple cut flower tips
1. Use flower food
Most florists include a single sachet of flower food. It may not look like much, but the combination of sugar, citric acid, and bleach helps cut flowers last longer. Just add the sachet contents to the water in your vase and it will do the rest.
2. Keep your flowers chill
Shove the cheese and dinner leftovers to one side, and make space in the fridge for your fresh cut flowers. As with all fresh produce, keeping flowers cool prolongs their life. So after enjoying them during the day, put them in the fridge overnight for some chill out time.
3. Make fresh cuts
Using sharp scissors or secateurs, make an angled cut about 1-2 inches from the bottom of the stem. Do this when you first get them, and again every three or four days. Making a new cut exposes a fresh part of the stem so it can absorb the water it needs more easily.
4. Keep bacteria under control
Bacteria is the enemy of cut flowers. Left to its own devices, bacteria will cover your vase and flowers in gunky slime. The stems, the leaves, the vase and even the water you pour into it all harbour bacteria, so you can’t avoid bacterial growth completely. But you can slow it down, which helps your cut flowers live for longer.
- Before using, wash the vase in warm, soapy water to remove any residual bacteria.
- Remove leaves that sit below the waterline.
- Change the water every three days.
Extra tip: When you change the water, add another sachet of flower food for extra oomph.
5. Drop in a baby aspirin
Mixing baby aspirin (a low-dose aspirin) in with your flower arrangement will lower the pH level of the water, recreating the acidic soil conditions preferred by flowers. If your arrangement includes Christmas greens such as Juniper and cedar, or sap-secreting perennials such as poppies and poinsettia, adding the tablet will also stop the sap forming a seal at the end of the stem. (Hardened sap stops the stem from taking up water, causing it to droop.)
Now you know how to make fresh cut flowers last longer
All it takes is a little extra attention—first when preparing your flowers for the vase, and then every few days with water changes and fresh cuts to the bottom of the stems. Following these quick tips can be the difference between your fresh cut flowers lasting a couple of days and them lasting a week or longer.
Next time you treat yourself or someone special to a bouquet of flowers, remember to try these methods out for yourself.