How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh

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The key to keeping fresh cut flowers perky for a week or more without floral preservatives (which contain biocides that kill bacteria and fungus) is to keep the water fresh and the stems free of air pockets so they can continue to draw up water.

Difficulty:
Easy

Instructions

Things You'll Need

  • Bypass pruners
  • Fresh-cut flowers
  • Vases
    • 1

      The best way to ensure long lasting blooms is to start with the freshest flowers available. If you are cutting flowers from your garden, harvest them in the morning after the dew has dried. If you plan on purchasing a bouquet, call your favorite florist or grocery store and ask when they get their flower shipments in. Or purchase flowers from your local farmer's market or U-Pick flower farm. Choose bouquets with some unopened flowers and shiny leaves; avoid nodding or browning blossoms and get the flowers into water as soon as possible.

    • 2

      Choose a vase that won't crowd the flowers. Then, fill the vase with three inches of tepid water. Stems that are submerged in water begin to decay, so it is best to not fill the entire vase with water.

    • 3

      Before you trim the stems, remove any foliage that will fall below the waterline. Submerged foliage degrades quickly and encourages the growth of bacteria, which gums up the flowers' stems and reduces their ability to take up water.

    • 4

      Place the stems under running water and cut off 1 inch of each stem at a 45-degree angle. Use a sharp knife or pruners rather than household scissors, which can crush the stems.

    • 5

      Immediately put the freshly cut flowers into the vase.

    • 6

      Place your arrangement in a cool spot out of direct sunlight. Keep flowers away from ripening fruit. It gives off a gas called ethylene that shortens the flowers' lifespan.

    • 7

      Every other day, trim off 1/4 inch of the stems at a 45 degree angle under running water and change the water in the vase.

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