Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

How to Make Cut Flowers Last

An abundance of flowers in the garden means a bounty of vases full of blooms in the house. Here are some tips to make your cut flowers last a whole lot longer with just a few simple steps.How to make your cut flowers last three times longer and stay beautiful

  • Most flowers are best harvested in the morning when temperatures are still cool.
  • Choose flowers that are close to their full splendor, by this I mean they are just coming into full bloom. Too early and you run the risk they won’t open, too late and you may miss the show all together.
  • Use a sharp knife (don’t pick!) and cut just above a leaf node. Cut the stem at an angle so that there is the most inner stem surface touching the water.
  • Remove all of the foliage that will be underwater as the leaves will rot in the water and speed up decomposition.
  • Bring a bucket of water with you to harvest and add the flowers right away as you cut.
  • Bring the flowers inside and let them rest for a few hours before starting your arrangements.
  • For woody stemmed flowers like Hydrangeas, dip the cut end of the stem in boiling water quickly before adding the bloom to cold water. For woody stemmed flowers like Lilacs, smash the ends with a hammer before adding to arrangements.
  • If you would like to make an easy floral preservative at home, simply add a little white sugar and vinegar to the water. This helps to feed the flowers and ward off bacteria.
  • Change water daily and re-cut the stems every few days.
  • Display arrangements in cooler locations, out of direct sunlight.Make your cut flowers last three times longer with these tips


With these tips you should have a house full of flowers for a long, long time!

Want to know what the best flowers to grow in your cutting garden are? See some ideas here:

The 45 Best Flowers for Homegrown Arrangements (Cropped) Tips for Making Home-Grown Flower Arrangements... that look like they cost a bundle!

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Kim {Stuffed Suitcase}
    Kim {Stuffed Suitcase}September 27,13

    These are some great tips. I wish I could grow more beautiful flowers in my own garden! I always try to keep purchased flowers fresh as long as possible and now know to clean off the leaves and stuff that are in the water. Thanks!

  2. Kayla @ Home Coming
    Kayla @ Home ComingSeptember 30,13

    Great tips! I’d love if you’d link up to The DIY’ers!

  3. Sandy Keller
    Sandy KellerApril 11,14

    I’m secretary of the Lake Erie Herb Society Once a year we have a plant sale as our only fund raiser. I also chair that. The well is running dry, but this is a well spring of ideas we can make to share with our gardening friends! I want to thank you for wonderful inspiration.

  4. Judy
    JudySeptember 16,14

    I have a question, what do you mean by on the hydrageas dip the top of the stem is that the flower part or the bottom part?

  5. Stephanie
    StephanieSeptember 16,14

    Hi Judy, I changed “top” to “cut end” for clarity. I hope that helps!

  6. linda
    lindaSeptember 16,14

    Where the night temps are lower…….If you are able to put your flower arrangement outside in cooler air (not forgetting to bring them in in the morning!) the arrangement will last much longer.

  7. Stephanie
    StephanieSeptember 16,14

    What a great suggestion, Linda! I’ll be trying that. Thank you so much.

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