How to Keep Fresh Cut Flowers Longer

by Heather

John Andersen Photography

John R. Andersen Photography.

 Long Lasting Blooms

There is nothing better than cutting flowers from your own garden. Bringing your garden blooms inside, arranged in your favorite vase as a lovely centerpiece on your dining room table is delightful. But have you ever noticed by day three the flowers aren't looking their best? Here are some tips on how to keep your fresh cut flowers longer.

Cutting Time

The best time to cut flowers from your garden is early in the morning or late in the evening, when temperatures are cooler. Flowers cut during mid-day, tend to experience more shock and have a harder time recuperating and wilt within a day of being cut. Choose flowers that are not blown open. Since flowers will naturally open in vases on their own, it’s ok to cut premature flowers (nearly-open buds); they will last longer in a vase. Make sure to cut an inch off the bottoms of the flower's stems right before designing with them. Flowers always need a fresh cut before placing in a vase. The best tool to use for cutting flowers, are floral snipsor scissors that are sharp and clean. Using dirty scissors introduces bacteria into the flower stem and kills a flower faster.

Water Quality 

Water quality is very important for long lasting cut flowers. By changing  the water every day, it minimizes bacteria. Bacteria are the number one reason flowers die early. In order for flowers to stay hydrated and fed, you can give them a boost by adding ingredients like sugar, into the water. Some examples of flower food are below. 1. Put flower preservative “flower food” into the water. You can buy small packets from a local florist. Make sure to not use the whole packet; if it’s a small vase, just add a sprinkle. If you use too much flower food, it will cause the flower to die early. Read directions on back of packet to give proper measurements. 2. Make your own preservative. Use 2 tablespoons vinegar with 3 tablespoons of sugar per liter of warm water. The vinegar kills bacteria and the sugar feeds the flowers. 3. Use clear soda, such as Sprite. The sugars in the soda will act similar to flower food. Make sure to just add 3 tablespoons of soda to a liter of water. Again, too much sugar can hurt a flower.

Eliminate Hazards

Cut flowers can be sensitive to their environment. Placing flowers near fruit is risky because fruit produces ethylene gas, which causes flowers to wilt. Flowers last longer at cooler temperatures, however if flowers get too cold they will freeze. Keep flowers away from drafty doors, or windows. If flowers are placed near a heat source they will die faster, so keep flowers away from wood stoves, heat vents and hot windows.

Flowers with Longer Bloom Times

Some flowers have a longer vase life than others.  HydrangeasHostasCoral BellsCalla LiliesOriental LiliesFreesia and Ranunculus have a vase life up to 2 weeks, if properly taken care of. Flowers that aren't worth cutting are Day LiliesBearded IrisLupine and Bleeding Hearts. These flowers tend to drop petals fast, or just fail to provide long lasting blooms. Do you have any tips on keeping cut flowers long lasting? If so, please share with us on Facebook. Enjoy designing with flowers, send us your bouquets! We would love to see your photos!

  1. Purple Miss Kim Korean Lilac, Syringa pubescens subsp. patula Miss Kim close up of purple white flowers

    Extend your Lilac season with this easy-to-grow variety. Miss Kim blooms later than other Lilacs and ignites the senses with an abundance of highly-fragrant, lavender blooms that sof...

    Learn More
    Miss Kim Korean Lilac Miss Kim Korean Lilac Syringa pubescens subsp. patula Miss Kim
    As low as $29.98 Sale $14.99
    Per Plant - 4" Pot
    Extend your Lilac season with this easy-to-grow variety. Miss Kim blooms later than other Lilacs and ignites the senses with an abundance of highly-fragrant, lavender blooms that soften to pink as they mature. In fall foliage turns a beautiful red-burgundy color adding three season interest to your garden. This compact, rounded shrub is a must have for fragrance, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula)
    Learn More
  2. Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm, Rudbeckia in bloom in perennial garden

    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green f...

    Learn More
    Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm
    As low as $9.98 Sale $8.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green foliage. Unbothered by most pests, poor soils, drought and humidity, 'Goldsturm' is easygoing and the perfect addition to flower arrangements and pollinator gardens. Deer resistant and long-lasting. (Rudbeckia fulgida)
    Learn More
  3. Pink Echinacea Magnus, Echinacea purpurea, Coneflower

    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent...

    Learn More
    Magnus Echinacea Purple Coneflower Magnus Echinacea purpurea Magnus
    As low as $9.98 Sale $8.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent stems and flowerheads in place to overwinter will also attract birds. Coneflowers are notably tough native plants and 'Magnus' is no exception, withstanding drought, clay, humidity and harsh winter conditions without complaint. Easy to grow, this plant is a great choice for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. (Echinacea purpurea)
    Learn More
  4. Award Winning Peony Collection

    Three American Peony Society 'Gold Medal' winners make up this champion collection of the best-of-the-best peonies! 'Pink Hawaiian Coral' has pastel pink petals and a frilly gold cen...

    Learn More
    Award Winning Peony Collection Award Winning Peony Collection Paeonia
    $119.98 Sale $79.99
    Per Collection of 3
    Three American Peony Society 'Gold Medal' winners make up this champion collection of the best-of-the-best peonies! 'Pink Hawaiian Coral' has pastel pink petals and a frilly gold center, 'Coral Sunset' flowers in a saturated rosy-orange, and 'Canary Brilliants' Itoh peony brings semi-double blooms of creamy yellow to the garden. All are fragrant and deer resistant.
    Learn More
© 2021 AmericanMeadows.com All rights reserved