My Life in Blossom

How to Lengthen the Life of Fresh Flowers

How to Grow Tulips

When someone gives us a bouquet as a gift, our first thought is, “How long will these last?”. Usually, the answer is relatively bleak. However, there are many tricks to learn if you want to know how to lengthen the life of fresh flowers at home – and there’s no need to make a trip to your local flower shop, either! While products designed explicitly for flowers will be your best bet, there are plenty of things you can find right at home that will help you keep your bouquet healthy for as long as possible.

How to Lengthen the Life of Fresh Flowers

Photo by Jen Theodore

Be Sure Your Vase is The Right One

When it comes to storing flowers in a vase, this is a widespread issue that occurs and one that most people aren’t aware of and don’t know they need to watch out for. The size and shape of the vase are essential factors in the overall health of your flowers. If the mouth of the vase is too wide, the stems of the flowers can become constricted, which hinders their growth. Be sure, as well, that your vase is clean and has an adequate amount of water for your bouquet – usually about 2/3rds of the vase.

Choosing the right vase for your arrangement is undoubtedly an acquired skill and not one that everyone needs to have – so be sure to ask your florist beforehand what vase would work well with the particular plant you are purchasing. This will do wonders for lengthening the lifespan of your flowers!

How to Lengthen the Life of Fresh Flowers

Photo by Rebecca Matthews

Cutting Stems

While many amateurs shy away from the prospect of trimming their flowers’ stems, it is a widespread and encouraged practice. It is recommended that, for your flowers to thrive, their petals should rise approximately a half-inch above the rim of the vase; this allows for them to receive evenly distributed doses of water (if appropriately cut) and provides a much lovelier appearance for the viewer!

It is also essential to trim the leaves of the flowers regularly so as not to cause overgrowth, as this often leads to a decline in health for the entire bouquet. Keeping the growth in check – and removing any dead leaves or flowers – also helps to keep the water bacteria-free, thus promoting better health and a better smell!

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Photo by rodion-kutsaev

Provide a Nourishing Environment

Just like the flowers in your garden, bouquet flowers still rely on their environment more than anything else to help them grow and thrive. The best thing you can do to promote your plant’s health is to do thorough research on its specific breed and provide it with proper sunlight or shading, any plant food it may require, and regular maintenance – as stated before.

Most flowers, especially those given as gifts, thrive in partial or direct sunlight – they will do well on your windowsill or terrace, as long as the daylight is not too intense and adequate shade is provided.

Keep in mind, as well, when you are deciding where to store your flowers – they can often be susceptible to the disease and decay of other plants. Hence, keeping them away from any fruits and vegetables in the kitchen or your backyard is essential.

How to Lengthen the Life of Fresh Flowers3 Tips and Tricks

The above methods are the most tried and true ways to promote better health and longer lives for your bouquet – but sometimes, they aren’t enough. If you are having zero luck keeping your flowers alive despite your best efforts, you can do a few things at home as a last resort – using only things you can find in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet.

  • For a quick and easy mix that will nourish your flowers, try adding a bit of apple cider vinegar and sugar to your vase before placing your bouquet. The vinegar works as an antibacterial agent that helps protect the water and keep it fresh, while the sugar – a nutrient that flowers thrive on – acts as additional flower food. For the best results, add two tablespoons of vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar to the water.
  • Another surprising option is to place a penny at the bottom of your vase; the copper in the penny acts as an acidifier, which helps to reduce bacteria growth.
  • This one may seem like a no-brainer – however, most of the time, people don’t even consider that the fridge is not just for foods and medications. The refrigerator is made to store all perishables, which makes it a perfect option for preserving the health of your flowers. This, however, does come with the stipulation that you can’t have the flowers on display the entire time.

While we may never know the end-all-be-all way to ensure that our bouquets live long and healthy lives, there are certainly many options if you are looking to hold onto them for as long as you can. As many tricks and tips as there are in this post, there are even more options available to preserve your flowers – so next time you get a beautiful bouquet as a gift, don’t despair!

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