South and Hickory Facade

Preserving Fresh Cut Flowers

Fresh cut flowers in a vase

November 2020

As we get deeper into winter, one way to brighten up your apartment – and your life – is with fresh cut flowers. If you’ve never purchased flowers for yourself, consider it a well-deserved treat that can lift your spirits for days. If you decide to indulge yourself, you’ll want those flowers to last as long as possible. There are four easy things you can do to extend the life of your flowers by as much as twice the number of days.

Cut the Stems

One of the mistakes people often make after receiving flowers is forgetting to cut the stems. Use garden shears or a sharp knife to trim one to two inches off the ends. Be sure to cut at an angle. This allows for better water intake since they aren’t sitting flat on the bottom of the vase. Also, this isn’t just a one-time thing. After the initial cut, be sure to re-trim the stems once every few days. Doing so will add days to the life of your flowers.

Prune the Leaves

Next, remove any leaves that will be below the water line of your vase. Your flowers will look better in the vase and it will prevent bacteria growth. After your initial pruning, you can prevent bacterial rot by checking your flowers daily for dead or loose leaves and removing them.

Treat the Water

Flowers should be placed in water immediately after cutting and pruning. Be sure to use a clean vase to prevent bacteria from forming and treat room temperature water with flower food. Many florists will include a small packet with your purchase. If you normally throw it away, don’t. When properly used, it can significantly extend the life of your flowers. Just make sure you follow the directions on the packet so the proportion of water to food is correct. If you don’t use the full packet, save what’s left and change out fresh water and food every three days.

If your flowers don’t come with a food packet or you run out, you can use a combination of apple cider vinegar and sugar. The vinegar acts as an antibacterial agent and the sugar provides food for your flowers. Just combine two tablespoons of vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar to one quart of room temperature water.

Keep it Cool

Have you ever noticed that florists keep their flowers in a cooler? That’s because lower temperatures help slow aging. While you want your flowers out during the day so you can enjoy them, putting them in the refrigerator at night can really help extend their life.

By using all of these methods in combination, you should easily be able to keep a bouquet of fresh cut flowers looking great for 10-14 days. And if you need more of an incentive, as a resident of South and Hickory Place you can get 10% off your purchase at Stacy K Floral on Russell Street. Check out our VIP Program for more details.