Making Your Cut Flowers Last Longer

Category Flowers
Having fresh cut flowers is a great way to decorate and add beauty to your home. The longer the flowers last, the more you get to enjoy them. This is a page about making your cut flowers last longer.
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I have tried many things when it came to getting flowers on special occasions; even picking ones from my rose garden. Sugar and aspirin are the couple I did most often. With this I added a penny. I was never sure why, but my Grandma always did this so of course it was a good thing!
I recently was reading a article in some magazine while waiting to go into the doctor appointment. I found a very interesting fact, today's pennies do not have enough copper in them to do anything as a helping fungicide. So if you do this helpful idea make sure your penny was made before 1981. Find one and keep it just for the bottom of you cut flowers.
You'll be able to enjoy them so much longer. If cutting them from your yard, early morning is better, flowers are holding the moisture from the night before.

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Source: Article at doctor's office from older magazine.

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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When I receive beautiful flower arrangements, my first thought is "How am I going to water this without getting water all over the table or tablecloth that it sits on." In fact, it worries me so much I don't water them as often as I should. All you need to do is save your plastic straws. Insert one of the straws into the floral form and pour the water through it. No more water on the table and it's easy enough that you can do it every day until the flowers need to go out to the compost pile! Works on all floral arrangements. If your hands are shaky, use a smaller glass to pour the water into the straw.

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My husband knows that I love fresh flowers so he brings them home to me quite often. Last week, I received some beautiful fresh red roses, which I immediately put in a vase. However, we happened to go away that weekend, and when we came back the roses had drooped considerably, but otherwise were not in bad shape.

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I remembered that florists sometimes use wire to hold up the heads of flowers. I had the idea of using sections of clear plastic straws instead. I cut the straw in 3 pieces, and then slit them along the side. That way, I could slip the straw section over the part of the stem near the bloom, where it was sagging. Voila! A little fussing with the placement in the vase, and I had a bouquet which would last a few more days.

For more support of the drooping stem, you can tape the straw section together, once it's on the stem, with clear tape. Also remember that it's best to try to arrange the flowers with the reinforcement AGAINST the droop to better withstand it.

By pam munro from Los Angeles, CA

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February 14, 2008

Did you get some cut flowers? Here's a little prep work you can do to make them last longer. Using pruning shears, make a fresh cut at the bottom of the stem. Do this under running water.

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March 4, 2008

To make fresh cut flowers last longer, use 1/2 water and 1/2 soda, such as Sprite or any clear color soda. Your flowers will last for weeks and weeks and they will remain beautiful.

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October 5, 2011

Another tip for keeping flowers fresh and even for revival is to put some fizzy clear lemonade into the water. This will revive them fantastically.

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When cutting fresh lilacs, use a hammer to lightly crush the woody part of the cut ends to about 2 inches up the stem. The lilacs will then take up more of the water in the vase and stay fresher longer.

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July 8, 2011

The mock orange have woody stems. In order to prepare them to draw more water in the vase, I crush the stems with a hammer. The flowers can last longer that way.

Bouquet of Siberan iris, peony, and mock orange blossoms

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Keep them in ice water, as much as you can. Store them in the refrigerator at night (in the winter, you can put them outside on the back porch). I have gotten cut flowers to last 2 weeks this way.

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November 20, 2008

If your children are like mine, anytime I cut fresh flowers, they ask to take a pretty bloom to their teachers. Rather than trying to keep the stems moist by wrapping them, use a plastic floral tube.

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You can purchase several for a dollar at the floral counter in your grocery store.

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March 1, 2005

Throw a couple of pennies into the water with your fresh cut flowers to keep them alive longer!

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Fresh cut flowers should always be placed in warm water rather than cold because the stem will absorb the warm water more rapidly. This prevents air bubbles from blocking the stem.

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I have magnificent hydrangeas bushes in my back yard. Sometimes, a flower will break off or has a very short stem. Rather than throw it away, I put it in the refrigerator in a shallow bowl with water.

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I enjoy it every time I open the door!

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To prolong the life of cut flowers in a vase, add a couple of drops of chlorine bleach. Never submerse any of the stem with leaves in the water. It adds to the decay factor.

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April 8, 2010

To keep your freshly picked flowers alive longer, add sugar. Add 1/2 tsp sugar for every cup of water.

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Fresh flower bouquets are wonderful and can last much longer if, besides all the usual methods of adding conditioner/aspirin to the water, and freshly cutting stems and so on, you prune your bouquets. . .

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 26, 2019

Will adding a citrus-flavored soft drink like 7-up to the water make cut flowers last longer?

Answers

August 26, 20190 found this helpful

It does, but I avoid it because it draws ants.

I have always had luck with a regular aspirin or the packet that the florists give.

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August 26, 20190 found this helpful

I change the water daily and add aspirin

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August 26, 20190 found this helpful

This is just a breeding ground for ants and other bugs attracted to the sugar. I would steer clear of using that. Aspirin does help. I change my water every 2 or so days and always trim the stems at an angle when changing water so theyre able to freshly soak it up.

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Good luck!

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August 26, 20190 found this helpful

You can, but your best bet is to keep the water clean and trim the stems with sharp shears often to remove any stale bacteria growth.

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August 27, 20190 found this helpful

Yes, it is possible to add 7-up or other types of soft drinks to the water of cut flowers to make them last longer. However, when you do this you risk the chance of ants coming in your home. I would avoid this practice and just change the water each day and add an aspirin to the water to make them last longer.

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August 27, 20190 found this helpful

Every couple of days, take your stems and give them a fresh angle cut to receive fresh water.The angle cut keeps from pinching the water intake of you plants/flowers.Also a finely crushed aspirin wouldn't hurt!

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March 18, 2016

I bought this interesting bunch from a flower market last weekend, and I'm sure the sign next to it said "we don't need any water" but I want to confirm that and can't remember the name! Please help :)

Answers

March 23, 20160 found this helpful

Perhaps they will dry out therefore there's no need for water. They look like a variety of Thistles.

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March 24, 20160 found this helpful

All the little red/green stuff looks like sedum, which is a succulent. It wouldn't need much water if it is.

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November 24, 2014

Should you put freshly cut bittersweet in water or hang it to dry if you want to use it in a decoration? I have found conflicting information.

By Janet F from New Haven, CT

Answers

December 6, 20170 found this helpful

I have dried it in the past with very good luck. I have never put it in water.

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April 27, 2014

Do you mash the stem on fresh cut roses or not? I have rose bushes that I cut regularly. I am told to mash the stem before putting in a vase. I say no to that and that they go into the vase after a slant cut. Please let me know.

By Maggie

Answers

August 17, 20150 found this helpful

All you need to do is cut your roses on an angle, about 1" or less and add some sugar to the water. They should last a few extra days longer than usual. Enjoy! Take lots of pictures!
Mare

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December 15, 2009

I would like to know how to make a rose bowl. I have seen roses preserved in a liquid inside an inverted, sealed "vase". I would like to know where to get such a "vase". What liquid is used to preserve the roses?

By Susan Koenig from Alameda, CA

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May 24, 2017

Cut flower arrangements will not last forever, but there are steps you can take to increase their longevity. This is a page about conditioning cut flowers for lasting arrangements.

Cutting Flower Stems

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January 2, 2017

This is a page about cut flower preservation recipes. When you buy cut flowers they often come with a packet of preserver to add to the water. If displaying flowers from your garden you can make your own, using products found in your home.

Cut flowers in a vase.

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May 22, 2019

Sprite, 7Up, or other citrus based sodas help extend the freshness of cut flowers. The acid from the citrus improves the uptake of water keeping them hydrated and the sugar adds a food source. So use full-on citrus soda, not diet, and enjoy that bouquet longer.

A beautiful bunch of flowers for Mother's Day.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 10, 2010

How do I make cut flowers last longer in a vase?

Tim

Answers:

Make Your Cut Flowers Last Longer

Cut a half an inch off bottom stems while in water then put them in fresh water adding 1/2 aspirin. (05/11/2009)

By NANCY PHILLIPS

Make Your Cut Flowers Last Longer

Another idea: There are several small steps you can take to prolong the life of cut flowers.

Before placing flowers in a vase, hold the stems under water and cut at least one inch off of the base of the stem. This will promote the flow of fresh water into the leaves and blooms.

Place flowers into a clean vase with tepid water. If you don't have commercial flower preservatives, add a bit of sugar and a drop of bleach to the water. The sugar will prolong the life of the flower and the bleach will prevent fungal and bacterial growth in the water.

To combat moisture loss, mist flowers with water and keep them away from hot lights and sources of heat.

Each night, put your flowers - vase, water and all - into the refrigerator. Most flowers, like other perishable items, last longer in cooler temperatures.
(05/12/2009)

By Marjorie

Make Your Cut Flowers Last Longer

Cut stem on angle so it can absorb more water. Use cool water, make sure all leafs are not immersed or cut them off before putting into vase. Prevents going rancid. Add a tablespoon of sugar, or reg. aspirin. Change water ever 2-3 days. This keeps water from spoiling. My carnations usually last 2-2.5 weeks! Lilacs can be forced to bloom early by hammering the stems. (05/18/2009)

By Sharon

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Home and Garden Gardening FlowersOctober 19, 2011
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