7 Ways to Help Cut Flowers Last Longer!

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! It’s time to start thinking about what kind of flowers you’ll be sending to your loved ones! Since giving and getting flowers is pretty much one of my favorite things, I’ve done a lot of research on how to make arrangements last longer. There are all sorts of crazy tips out there, but I feel like only a few of them actually work. I’ve partnered with my friends at The Bouqs Company, my favorite flower delivery service, to share my very best tips with you here as well as some of my favorite flower and vase combos below! (PS For the next week, receive 20% off your Bouqs.com order with the code VDAYBLOOMS!)

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The first tip is probably the most important one –

TIP #1: BUY FRESHER FLOWERS

It makes sense, right? The faster those blooms get from the grower to your coffee table, the better! The Bouqs Company is a great resource because there is no middle man. The flowers are cut the day you order them, not just sitting in a floral wholesale warehouse! The eco-friendly Bouqs.com farms are on mineral-rich volcanic soil in Ecuador, where they follow strict responsible farming practices. Also I really love that they carry special flowers that can be harder to find – like ranunculus or the garden roses I have here in the post, as well as super cool accents like thistles and succulents!

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TIP #2: BLEACH YOUR VASE


You want to do everything you can to keep bacteria from growing in your arrangement. Cleaning out your vase beforehand with really hot, soapy water or even a light bleach solution will help a lot!

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TIP #3: REMOVE THE LEAVES


A lot of people overlook this step. It’s really important to remove any leaves that sit below the water line, otherwise the leaves will rot and accelerate the bacteria growth and wilting process.

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TIP #4: CUT THE STEMS AT AN ANGLE, UNDER WATER


Everyone knows that you should give your blooms a fresh cut before arranging them in your vase. But if you cut the stems at a long angle, the flower will be able to suck up more water. It also seems like the flower does better if the stem is submerged in water during the cut.

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TIP #5 USE THE FLORAL FOOD PACKETS


In my experience, the little packets of floral preservative alone will double the life of any arrangement. The packets contain preservatives and anti-bacterial solutions that help keep the flowers happy and fresh. Don’t skip on the packets! I keep a stash of them in my pantry and use a full packet every time I change the water in my arrangements. I’ve gotten two packets with every delivery from The Bouqs Company, which I really appreciate!

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TIP #6: KEEP THE WATER COLD AND FRESH

Heat and bacteria are the enemies of fresh floral arrangements. It’s a good idea to fully change the water in your arrangement every two or three days. I have some friends that also put their arrangements in the fridge at night and that seems to work wonders for prolonging the life of the flowers, but that requires more thought and energy than I usually have at bedtime! So when I first cut my flowers and make my arrangements, I fill up my vase with ice first and then water (and the preservative packet). I add a few ice cubes every day or whenever I happen to think about it and I swear it works SO WELL! It’s just like keeping the flowers in a refrigerator!

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TIP #7: PLACE YOUR ARRANGEMENT IN THE RIGHT SPOT


I’ve read that you should never keep fresh flowers in the kitchen because fruits and veggies sitting on the counter emit gasses that speed up the wilting process. Interesting, right? Direct sunlight is also bad for cut flowers. If you want them to last longer, keep your flowers sitting in a shaded and cool area in your home.

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What tips would you add to my list? I’ve tried all the crazy ones – add a penny to your vase, use a crushed aspirin instead of the floral preservative, pour bleach in your vase water (!), but these ones above seem to work the best for me!

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This post was sponsored by The Bouqs Company. Receive 20% off your order this week with the code VDAYBLOOMS!

  1. These are some good tips – I knew about taking off the leaves and cutting the stems, but I had no idea about bleaching the vase and keeping the flowers away from fruits and vegetables. Who knew!!! I love having fresh flowers and get some from the grocery store or farmer's market each week. Flowers are just so cheerful!

  2. Emily

    I've always been told to use lukewarm water, not cold, but I will not be doing that anymore! Ice cold does make better sense. I learned a lot from this post, thanks Jenny!

  3. These are excellent tips! Thank you for sharing!
    One tip that has really helped me is to keep a spray bottle of water handy for hydrangea; they apparently take in water through their petals, and so misting them on a daily basis will keep them plump and pretty. :)

  4. My husband swears by vodka in the water for tulips. Seems like a waste to me but I guess maybe the alcohol in it inhibits bacteria? And I don't know why only tulips. But. It does seem to make them last longer!

  5. This post is perfect timing for me! I just had a baby a week ago and have received so many beautiful bouquets One of them started wilting pretty quickly so I've been trying to figure out how to keep them looking fresh for as long as possible. One thing a friend told me to do was use 7-Up instead of water in the vase, it sounds so strange but apparently it works pretty well. I'm definitely giving some of your tips a try!

  6. Vera

    Hi Jenny, I'm wondering why non of the images show up in my browser. I tried Chrome and Firefox. Is it me or is the page?

    Would love to see the images in addition to your posts.

    Many thanks!

  7. These are great tips! I especially like the ice cube one, as that's something I can (and will!) do right now!

    Littlebricklane.blogspot.com

  8. I like the ice cube one, that's a great idea! When it's not summer, I do put flowers on the (covered) back porch at night, because there is pretty much never room for a big arrangement in my fridge. Bonus of living on the coast in the Pacific Northwest, it rarely dips below freezing even in the winter.

  9. Lovely post about the flowers, but I actually came here to express my disappointment in the auto-play ad that came up just now :(. I had to scroll around for a bit to find where it was and mute it. It's one thing to have a video ad, but the sound? So distracting and it really detracts from your message. I understand you've got to support your family, but I wouldn't have thought you'd have an ad like that.

    Sorry to be critical– I love your site and your projects always inspire me to be brave with home improvement.

  10. So happy to find your blog.
    great Post.
    yvonne
    '
    stop over sometime

  11. admin

    Nanananatalee – Thank you SO much for your feedback!! I work with an ad network that manages all my display ads. I most definitely did not approve a pop up video ad for my site (I HATE those too!). I'll send them an email now and ask what happened.

    Thanks again for the heads up and apologies about the video! xo

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  13. I get a ton of mileage out of the "put them in the fridge" trick. I recently bought one of the petite bouquets at Whole Foods, and got it to last nearly 5 weeks by changing the water every other day and stashing in the fridge right before bed.

  14. My mom’s birthday is coming up and, I thought that I would surprise her this year with flowers. It is good to know that one can make flowers last longer if you buy them fresher. I did not realize that one should find a florist that cuts the flowers the day you order them and do not just have them sitting in a floral warehouse. I will keep this in mind as my mom’s birthday gets closer.

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