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How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh in a Vase

By :Mark Ajello 0 comments
How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh in a Vase

Flower Care Tips – From Your Local Florist

So, you have just received a bright, blossoming bouquet from a friend, family member, co-worker, or the love of your life. You want to preserve your lovely sentimental gift for as long as possible, but how? The key is in the freshness of the flowers, and it all starts with where you buy your flowers from! Buying fresh blooms from a florist instead of a supermarket will ensure you get the longest-lasting flowers.

Sadly, even fresh-cut flowers from a florist have a shelf life. And while at A Mano Florals we offer a five to seven-day freshness guarantee, flowers don’t last forever.

Our expert advice on how to keep your fresh flowers looking beautiful for longer with our simple flower care tips:


Keeping Your Bouquet Fresh in a Vase

We do our very best to ensure that our flowers are as close to freshly picked as possible, but once you take them home, there are a few things you should know to keep them looking happy for longer. Follow the below guide for how to maintain the freshness of your flowers and extend their life:

Remove any wrapping paper to allow flowers to freely absorb nutrients.

Your bouquet will be beautifully wrapped in paper and ribbon with a water bubble. Firstly, you must take your bouquet out of the wrapping within 24 hours upon receiving it. This allows the flowers to absorb the necessary water and nutrients it needs to help them stay fresh and lively.

Use a clean vase and fresh water to avoid bacteria.

We always get asked how do you keep flowers fresh in water? The answer is a simple word rearrangement: keep your flowers in fresh water! Find a clean vase for your bouquet of flowers to be placed in. Fill your vase halfway with fresh room temperature water.

Dirty vase water may harbor bacteria, which will not make your flowers very happy. Bacteria clogs up your flowers’ water channels and prevents it from absorbing the nutrients it needs.

Cut the stems of the flowers to expose absorbent flower tissue.

Cutting the stems of your flowers exposes fresh tissue that can more easily absorb water. Once unwrapped, you will need to cut the flower stems about 1cm at a 45-degree angle with sharp scissors. This will allow the flowers to absorb the water with ease.

The sharpness of your choice of utensil is important; using a blunt knife or dull garden shears to cut your flowers can tear or smash the stem and reduce water uptake.


Use room temperature water.

Did you know that flowers can be quite sensitive to temperature? If you expose them to cold temperatures, it can actually damage the cells in their stems, which can make it harder for them to take in water and nutrients. However, there are some flowers, like tulips, that actually benefit from being placed in cold water. This can help to slow down their growth and keep them looking fresh for longer.

If you are unsure about what your flowers need, it’s generally a good idea to stick with room temperature water. This will help to prevent damage to the stems and ensure that the flowers can drink up the water they need to stay healthy and vibrant.

Quickly remove loose leaves and petals from the vase.

Another tip is making sure there no remaining foliage or dead leaves in or below the waterline. Decaying foliage deposits harmful bacteria into the water. As we say in-store, “leaves cause disease”.

Re-cut the stems every 2-3 days.

Even though you may have already cut the stems of your flowers once, it is important to re-cut them every 2-3 days. Cutting the stems opens up the channels that allow water to flow up the stems easily, but over time, these channels become clogged with air bubbles and bacteria. Recutting the stems removes these blockages and avoids bacterial rot. Once the stems are cut, place them immediately in your vase of water to avoid them drying out.

Change the water once every 2 days.

As you now know, the only thing keeping our flowers fresh is their ability to absorb water. Bacteria block these water channels to our beautiful blooms. Flower vases provide a warm, moist environment perfect for bacteria, which is why it is important to change the water every two days to prevent bacterial growth. This is also a good time to recut your flower stems before placing them back into the fresh water if you need help remembering.

Keep flowers in a cool area protected from wind.

Flowers love water because they are constantly drying out. This is why it is important to place your flowers in a cool location, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Don’t go cranking the air conditioner, though! It will reduce the lifespan of fresh-cut flowers by drying out the air even further. Simply place your flowers away from open windows or areas with nearby appliances, as a light breeze will dry out flowers and cause them to wilt. Here in Perth, we have a strong afternoon wind that we call the Fremantle doctor. It is certainly not a flower doctor.

Use a floral preservative to inhibit bacterial growth.

A floral preservative can extend the vase life of your flowers dramatically, thanks to a combination of ingredients that help to nourish the flowers, inhibit bacterial growth, and lower the pH of the water to make it more acidic, which can aid in water uptake by the stems.

A Home Recipe for Flower Preservative:

  • 4 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

The sugar provides the flowers with energy to help them bloom and grow, while the vinegar or lemon juice helps to lower the pH of the water to inhibit bacterial growth and aid in water uptake by the stems.

Use flower food to keep nutrients flowing up to the petals.

Flower food or plant food can be used for an extra boost in nutrients to keep the flowers fresh. Please keep in mind, one flower food sachet can last a whole week with a few sprinkles used each time you change your water.

Looking for flowers that require minimal care? Try a flower arrangement!

Flowers arranged in foam in a ceramic pot or hatbox can be a great option if you are looking for minimal care. Flower arrangements come in their vessel, so there is no need to fuss about finding a vase or cutting your flower stems. 


Check out our blog post on caring for flower arrangements. Click the link below.

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