How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh

Have you just received a lovely flowers from your loved ones and want to keep them for a long time? Then follow these helpful tips and keep your flowers fresh for longer. And don’t forget that cut flowers are living organisms that continue to live inside the vase.

Carefully wash your vase with hot water and a small cap of bleach together with a sponge. Allow the vase to dry naturally upside down rather than using a towel to make sure there will be no bacteria when placing the water and flowers in the vase.

Tap water is the most suitable water for cut fresh flowers. Flowers with woody stems such as roses prefer plenty of water, so fill the vase up to about 2/3 with water. Flowers with softer strains, such as tulips, prefer less water then fill the vase just under half. Prefer cold water for the jar. Never hot as it causes damage to flowers. Also avoid lukewarm water, as it has been observed that in some species it can be harmful.


Add a flower food sachet to your vase of water and make sure it’s fully dissolved with a quick stir. Flower food is a concoction of bleach (bactericide), sugar and a citric acid (acidifier). Bleach eliminates harmful bacteria. Sugar provides flowers with the energy to allow them to blossom. Citric acid balances the PH of tap water, dissolves air bubbles and improves the effectiveness of the bleach. The three ingredients contained in flower food create the perfect environment for cut flowers. Be careful not to overdose. Avoid old wives tales because they often do more harm than good. The reason old wives tales such as adding a penny, vodka, aspirin or lemonade don’t work are because they don’t combine the three key ingredients to make the perfect environment for cut flowers.

If you don’t have a flower food sachet, you can make your own at home to add to your vase: You are going to need:

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of clear unscented bleach

2 teaspoons of lemon/lime juice

Mix these ingredients with a quarter cup of warm water and stir the mixture until fully dissolved.

If you can’t do this, replace your vase water every 24 hours.

Place the stems next to your vase to measure the right height for them to be cut.


To avoid cloudy water, remove all leaves or foliage that will be below the waterline in the vase. This will prevent bacteria from growing. Clean the vase regularly and add new water every other day to extend the life of the blooms.

Cut about 2 cm from the bottom of the stems before place them into the vase. Cut the bottom of the stem with a sharp knife (not scissors) diagonally to make new openings in the stem's vascular system. Cutting the stems with a sharp tool does not injure the stem and will allow absorbing more water. After you cut your flowers, place them immediately in your jar with water.


Place your flowers in a suitable location. Keep your flowers in a cool location away from sources of heat such as household appliances or radiators, direct sunlight and drafts from windows or doors.

Keep your flowers away from any fruit or vegetables. As they mature releases ethylene gas causing browning and withering on cut flowers.

Try not to neglect your flowers for more than 2-3 days. Be sure to take them out of the jar to change them. Hold your flowers from the stems instead of the heads as the human hands produce heat that will dry your flowers.

Check the quality of your vase water, if it is slightly cloudy, change it for fresh water and repeat the above procedure. No matter how meticulous you have been with your vase, bacteria will still form and attach to the end of your flower stems and discolor your water.

Lastly, make sure your arrangement is clear of radiators, air conditioners, and direct sunlight: these environmental factors can prematurely burn or dry out your handiwork.


Try these tips the next time you receive a bouquet of flowers and be sure to enjoy them for a long time.

If you want to order some flowers to delight your loved ones you can visit our online store at and choose the right gift for friends or colleagues.