Florist making flowers last longer

How to make flowers last | The all important foundations

"How do I make my flowers last?" It's a popular question for obvious reasons.

There’s nothing more satisfying than getting a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the market or your local flowers store. Yet, there’s also nothing more frustrating than seeing them wilt only a day or two later. Have you ever wondered how that friend or neighbour always keeps their flowers looking fresh for days and days on end? It all comes down to following the right steps that allow your flowers to maintain their vibrancy and freshness. Below are the non-negotiable steps for making your flowers last.

Step #1: Clean the vase before use

Florist bleaching vase to make the flowers lastFlorist cleaning flower vase

This is a step that many people often skip, but it has a real impact on the lifespan of your flowers! A vase that has any kind of residue from a previous bouquet or dust or dirt build-up won’t serve your flowers as it should. The best way to clean a flower vase naturally is with baking soda and vinegar. In the store we use bleach, which is a fail-safe for us in a commercial environment. Either way, both are an option. Use a bottlebrush or sponge to scrub the vase walls clean of any residue with this mixture and feel confident that you’re giving your flowers the best possible chance to have a long lifetime.

Step #2: Cut the stems and prune the leaves

Florist cutting flower stems to make them last

Want your flowers to wilt in a few days? Forget to cut the stems when you get home from the florist! This is another common mistake that people make. They bring a beautiful bouquet home or bring it in off their doorstep only to stick it directly in the vase. Wrong. A bouquet needs to be cut and pruned before you put it in water. This will allow the flower better access to the water you’re putting it in.

Take garden shears (or a kitchen knife) and cut two inches off the bottom of your stem at an angle. You should also remove any leaves that will fall below the lip of the vase so that nothing falls into the water. Every few days (when you change your water), you should re-trim your stems to ensure they have the proper access to water intake.

Step #3: Know how and when to water

Florist filling vase to correct water level

Watering your flowers may seem self-explanatory but turns out the way you do it may have more of an impact than you’d expect on the life span of your flowers. Fill the vase with cool to room temperature water. Although it’s not absolutely necessary, you can also add a packet of flower food if you like. You’ll want to pay attention to the directions on the back of the packet itself since a mix that’s too concentrated or too diluted won’t do your flowers any good. You’ll want to switch out your water every 2-3 days. Don’t get lazy with this! It’s easy to think that you don’t need to do it this often, but flowers need fresh water if you want them to stay looking fresh. 

Step #4: Avoid any negative triggers

Rippening Fruit

Did you know that there are certain triggers that will cause your flowers to die faster than normal? And some of them may be things that you thought helped flowers to thrive! For example, areas with direct sunlight like open windows are a big no-no because they can cause your flowers to dehydrate quickly. You should also keep them away from hot appliances or heating or cooling vents. Another negative trigger is fruit. Ripening fruit has been found to release tiny amounts of ethylene gas which can reduce the longevity of your flowers.

Step #5: Get creative

Stack of copper coins for vase

This isn’t required, but if you really wanted to make your flowers last, you can always try a home remedy that others swear keeps their flowers fresh and perky for long. Some of these remedies include coins, bleach, hairspray, apple cider vinegar, vodka, and aspirin. Each remedy has a different method, so if you’re interested in something a little non-conventional, all it takes is a quick Google search. That said, keeping flowers fresh truly just relies on your ability to care for them in their most basic environment.

Final thoughts on how to make your flowers last

Making your flowers last is one of the most sought-after elements of flower care. Yet, the actions necessary to make this happen are often underestimated. People forget to clean their vases before use, cut the stems of their flowers, prune the leaves or water and feed their flower correctly. They also incorrectly believe that you’re supposed to give a flower direct sunlight as you are a potted plant, which leads to dehydration. Don’t let your flowers perish! Follow the above steps to maximise flower care, and you’ll be all set for longer lasting flowers.


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