How to Substitute Flower Food


Using flower food can help prolong the vase life of your cut flowers. The food helps provide essential nutrients to prolong the blooms as well as develop and prolong color. Instead of using store-bought flower foods, you can use your own homemade version that will be as effective but less expensive.

Things You'll Need

  • Quart-size container
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. bleach
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Flowers
  • Vase
  • Rinse and dry the quart-size container thoroughly to ensure that there is nothing inside that will disrupt the pH balance of the liquid.

  • Add 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. bleach to the container. Swirl the container slightly to mix the ingredients.

  • Fill the container with lukewarm water, leaving an inch of space at the top. Using lukewarm water helps the plant-food mixture dissolve more completely. Stir the ingredients with the spoon until thoroughly dissolved.

  • Pour the water-food mixture into your vase. Gently insert your flowers. Replace the water whenever it starts to look murky.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are sensitive to bleach, use 1 tsp. of vinegar instead.
  • When using bleach, make sure the area is well-ventilated. Avoid contact with eyes and skin.

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  • Photo Credit cristal-glass sugar-bowl and white sugar image by Maria Brzostowska from
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