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How to Make Flowers Last Longer | Tips and Tricks

I love having flowers in my home. Bringing a bit of nature into your home can boost your mood and make you feel happier.


A bouquet of fresh flowers can brighten up any room. Flowers are beautiful and vibrant, but they often don’t last as long as we would like them to.

Whether you have received a lovely bouquet of flowers or picked fresh flowers from your own garden, there are several techniques you can employ to extend their lifespan. To help keep your flowers fresh for as long as possible, I’ve got some simple tips to share.

how to make flowers last longer

If you love fresh flowers and are wondering how to make flowers last longer then read on and take some notes.

Choosing the Right Fresh Cut Flowers

To effectively keep flowers lasting longer, it is essential to choose the right bouquet.

Flower Selection

The best way to make flowers last longer comes down to flower selection. Some types of flowers flowers are known for their durability and ability to last longer, such as roses, carnations, orchids, and chrysanthemums. These flowers have sturdy blooms and can withstand different environmental conditions.


When purchasing flowers, always look for those that are fresh and in bud form. Fresh flowers have a longer lifespan compared to ones that are already fully bloomed. Check the petals for signs of wilting or discoloration, as this indicates the flowers may not last as long.

Proper Handling and Transport

how to make flowers last longer

Florists pay great attention to the handling and transportation of flowers to ensure their freshness. To replicate these best practices at home, handle the flowers gently, avoiding any damage to the flower stems, leaves, or petals. 

Top Tips on How To Make Flowers Last Longer

Flowers have a natural lifespan, but with some care and attention, you can make them last longer. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your beautiful bunch of flowers remain fresh and vibrant for an extended period, allowing you to fully enjoy their beauty.

Trimming and Pruning

First things first, before placing the flowers in a vase or mason jar, it is crucial to trim the stems at an angle. This allows for better water absorption, preventing the ends of the stems from sitting flat at the bottom of the vase. Additionally, remove any foliage that would be below the water line, as it can promote bacterial growth.

Water Quality and Temperature

Clean, fresh water is essential for maintaining the vitality of fresh-cut flowers. Change the water every two days, ensuring it is at room temperature. Avoid using hot water or cold water, as extreme temperatures can shock the flowers and shorten their lifespan. Adding flower food to the flower water can also provide necessary nutrients.

Proper Placement

Finding the right spot for your flower arrangements is crucial. Keep the flowers away from direct sunlight, drafts, and ripening fruits, as they release ethylene gas, which accelerates the aging process of flowers. Ideally, place the flowers in a cool area with good air circulation.

Regular Maintenance

To ensure your flowers stay fresh, remove any wilted or decaying blooms promptly. This prevents the spread of bacteria and keeps the remaining flowers healthier for a longer period. Additionally, retrim the stems every few days to allow for continued water absorption.

Using Flower Preservatives

Flower preservatives contain ingredients that help nourish the flowers and inhibit bacterial growth. They typically come in powder or liquid form and can be purchased from florists or garden centers. Follow the instructions provided with the preservatives and add them to the water in the vase.

Avoiding Ethylene Exposure

Ethylene is a naturally occurring gas that promotes the ripening of fruits and the aging of flowers. To prevent premature wilting, store flowers away from ethylene-producing sources such as fruits, tobacco smoke, and exhaust fumes. This simple precaution can significantly extend the lifespan of your flowers.

Displaying Flowers Away from Ripening Fruits

As mentioned earlier, ripening fruits release ethylene gas, which can expedite the wilting process of flowers and help your flowers last longer. Keep your flower arrangement away from the fruit bowl or the kitchen counter where fruits are ripening. This separation will help maintain the freshness and longevity of your flowers.

Reviving Flowers with Aspirin

If your flowers start to wilt prematurely, you can try reviving them with aspirin. Crush one aspirin tablet and add it to the vase water. The salicylic acid in aspirin helps combat bacterial growth and allows the flowers to absorb water more efficiently, thus prolonging their freshness.

Using Hair Spray to Prolong Flower Life

Believe it or not, hair spray can be an effective tool for extending the life of your flowers. Lightly spritz the undersides of the petals and leaves from a distance of about 12 inches. The hair spray acts as a sealant, helping to retain moisture and preserve the flowers’ vibrant colors.

how to make flowers last longer

Make Clean Cuts

Only use a sharp knife or scissors when cutting your stems. Cutting them on a slight angle will increase the surface area for water absorption. Clean cuts will ensure maximum water uptake and give microbes less points of entry.

How to Make Flower Last Longer Bonus Tips

Did you know you can make flowers last longer with drops of bleach or sugar?

How to Make Flower Last Longer With Sugar?

If you want to extend the lifespan of your cut flowers, using sugar can be a simple and effective method. The sugar acts as a food source for the flowers, providing them with the necessary energy to stay fresh and vibrant. Here’s how you can make flowers last longer with sugar:

Prepare a Clean Vase: Start by selecting a clean vase and fill it with lukewarm water. Make sure to wash the vase thoroughly to remove any bacteria or residue that could shorten the life of your flowers.

Add Sugar: Measure out teaspoon of sugar to a tablespoon of granulated sugar depending on how big your vase is and dissolve it in the room-temperature water. Stir well until the sugar is completely dissolved. The sugar concentration should be around 3-4% for optimal results.

Change the Solution Regularly: To prevent bacterial growth and maintain the freshness of your flowers, change the sugar solution every two to three days. Before adding fresh solution, rinse the vase thoroughly to remove any residue.

How To Make Flowers Last Longer With Bleach

While sugar is commonly used to prolong the life of cut flowers, bleach can also be an effective solution. Bleach helps prevent bacterial growth in the water, keeping it clean and clear. Here’s how you can use bleach to make your flowers last longer:

Clean the Vase: Start by thoroughly cleaning the vase with warm soapy water to remove any bacteria or residue. Rinse it well to ensure a clean environment for your flowers.

Prepare a Bleach Solution: Mix a small amount of bleach with water. The recommended ratio is 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per 1 quart (1 liter) of water. Be cautious not to add too much bleach, as it can damage the flowers. The bleach acts as a disinfectant, preventing the growth of bacteria in the water.

Trim the Stems: Take your flowers and trim their stems at a 45-degree angle using sharp scissors or pruning shears. This creates a larger surface area for water absorption and allows the flowers to take in the bleach solution.

Place the Flowers in the Vase: Carefully place the trimmed flowers into the vase containing the bleach solution. Ensure that the stems are fully submerged in the water, but avoid overcrowding the vase.

Monitor the Water Level: Check the water level in the vase daily and top it up as needed. Keeping the stems submerged in the bleach solution helps maintain its effectiveness in preventing bacterial growth.

Change the Solution Regularly: Every two to three days, change the water and bleach solution. Rinse the vase thoroughly before refilling it with a fresh bleach solution. This ensures a clean environment for the flowers and prolongs their lifespan.

Remember, it’s essential to use bleach in moderation and follow the recommended dilution ratio. Too much bleach can harm the flowers rather than help them. By using bleach to prevent bacterial growth, you can enjoy longer-lasting flowers that remain fresh and vibrant for an extended period.

Using Vodka To Make Flowers Last Longer

Using vodka ( or any clear spirit) as a flower-preserving agent is a popular DIY method that some people swear by. The idea behind it is that the alcohol content in vodka can help inhibit bacterial growth in the water, keeping your floral arrangement fresh for a longer period. Simply add a few drops of vodka to your vase water and your flowers should last a couple of days longer.

Similarly to this you can also use a a clear soda to make your flowers last longer, just ensure your soda has sugar in it.

Using Vinegar To Make Flowers Last Longer

Using vinegar or citric acid can work just as well as a packet of flower food when it comes to prolonging the lifespan of flowers. The acidity of vinegar or citric acid helps prevent bacterial growth in the water, keeping it clean and clear.

Add a tablespoons of white vinegar or a tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your vase water to keep your flowers fresher for longer.

How to Make Flowers Longer FAQs

How long do cut flowers typically last?

Cut flowers usually last between 7 to 14 days, depending on the type of flower and the care provided.

Should I recut the stems every time I change the water?

Yes, trimming the stems each time you change the water helps to remove any blockages and allows the flowers to absorb water more easily.

Can I keep flowers in the refrigerator to make them last longer?

While refrigeration can slow down the wilting process, it is best to keep flowers away from fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, as they emit ethylene gas

Is it normal for flowers to wilt slightly after being arranged?

Yes, it is normal for flowers to experience slight wilting after being arranged. This is because the process of cutting and arranging disrupts the water flow in the stems. However, with proper care and hydration, the flowers can regain their vitality and perk up within a few hours.

Does Baking Soda Make Flowers Last Longer?

Baking soda can help flowers last longer as it creates neutrality; it’s not too acidic or alkaline. Baking soda can help balance the ph of the water and prevent bacteria growth. Using baking soda in a vase of fresh flowers can make them last two to three days longer.

With these best tips and techniques, you can now confidently keep your flowers alive and vibrant for an extended time. Remember to choose the right flowers, handle them with care, and provide them with proper water, temperature, and placement. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty and fragrance of your beautiful blooms for days to come.

Love flowers? Then check out these Flower Wallpapers for your iPhone.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. It is definitely beneficial to follow these tips, especially if you have a regular flower subscription. Do you have any tips on how to make flowers last longer? Let me know in the comments below. Love flowers? Get your flower subscription box from BloomingBox


Sunday 28th of July 2019

Thanks for your helpful tips! xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


Sunday 28th of July 2019

I love flowers too and also change the water every couple of days. Have never tried apple cider vinegar. Will give it ago next time.