A Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Your Flowers Fresh

A hard truth for most florists is that most people don’t know how to keep their flowers fresh, let alone how to make flowers last longer. As a result, they end up throwing them out after just a few days. But it doesn’t have to be this way! With a little bit of care, you can keep your flowers looking beautiful for weeks. Have a read of our beginner’s guide for everything you need to keep your flowers fresher for longer.

Extending the life of your flowers

Supplies and Equipment

Before we get started, here are some of the supplies and equipment you might need to keep your flowers fresh – and yes, you read that correctly, vodka and aspirin are on that list. We’ll explain later!

  • Sharp scissors or garden shears
  • Copper coin
  • Aspirin
  • Vodka
  • Lemonade
  • Flower food sachet
  • Vase
  • Bleach
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Refrigerator 
  • Water bottle mister
  • Can of Hairspray
  • Sugar

How to make cut flowers last longer?

  • Cut the flower stems

Keeping cut flowers fresh is actually much easier than you might think. Before you put your flowers on display. Grab a pair of scissors (garden shears are better) and cut about three to four centimetres off the end of each stem. Make sure to cut the stem at a 45-degree angle for improved water absorption.

  • Prune the leaves

Check them daily for dead leaves and petals to ensure your flowers stay healthy. Make sure to remove anything that falls below the waterline, so it doesn’t contribute to bacteria growth in this continually wet environment! Pruning leaves is especially important for mixed bouquets.

  • Choosing the perfect vase

A good rule of thumb for big blooms and large bouquets: cut short and add your flowers to a low vase to give them room to spread out. Lighter, more delicate flowers, on the other hand, will do much better in a taller vase. If things start to get crowded in your vase, consider splitting your bouquet into two.

How to keep flowers alive?

  • Regularly change the water

To make your flower arrangements last, always begin with a clean vase and room temperature water. After a few days of sitting in the open air or at home without use for some time, go back out again to give it another rinse before adding fresh flowers!

  • Protect flowers from the elements

Flowers should be kept cool and dry to protect them from the elements, like direct sunlight or other heat sources. They shouldn’t have open windows because this can cause dehydration, and no flower wants that. Ripening fruit should also be avoided due to the tiny amounts of ethylene gas they release, which can reduce the longevity of your floral arrangement.

  • Feed them flower food

That tiny sachet that comes with your flowers is the fountain of youth for your flowers. A mix of three floral essentials: carbohydrates (sugars), biocides (cleansing agents), and acidifiers. These ingredients promote cell metabolism, combat bacteria, and adjust the pH of the water to increase water uptake. Remember to ask for an extra packet or three because you’ll want to add more when replacing the water. 

  • Give your flowers a quick spritz

Got a bottle of water and a mister handy? Give your flowers a quick spray to give those petals a much-needed drink. You’d be surprised how drooping flowers can suddenly come to life after a quick spritz.

Alternative methods for long-lasting cut flowers

  • Add vodka

Think of it as happy hour for your fresh cut flowers! Just a few drops of vodka into your water will help slow the wilting process thanks to alcohol’s ability to decrease ethylene production, the ripening gas that makes fruits, veggies, and plants mature.

  • Flowers love fizzy drinks and soda 

Remember that packet of plant food? Well, if you run out,  a ¼ cup of soda in your water will keep your floral blooms perky.

  • Add aspirin

A common pain reliever, Aspirin, can help lower the pH level in the water, allowing it to reach your flowers faster, keeping them fresher for longer.

  • A quarter teaspoon of bleach

Bleach is a tricky option for flower longevity. Too much, and you’ll ruin your flowers. However, with just a ¼ teaspoon per litre of water, you can help improve the vitality of your flowers.

  • Copper and flowers

The acidic properties of copper enable it to fight bacteria growing in your water or on your flowers. About a penny’s worth of copper at the bottom of the vase should be enough to help your flowers bloom more brightly. 

  • Putting flowers in the fridge

Florists don’t keep flowers in the fridge because it looks cool. Refrigerating your flowers will keep them fresher for longer. Just chuck them in at night, then pop them back into its vase in the morning for increased shelf life.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Go all-natural with this effective antibacterial agent that will also help balance the pH in your water. Simply mix two tablespoons of vinegar with two tablespoons of sugar before adding your flowers.

  • Hairspray

Yes, you heard us correctly. Just as you would to your hair, stand about a foot away from your flowers and give them a quick spray for radiant results.

How to keep flowers fresh longer?

Get same-day flower delivery! Put a smile on someone’s face with flowers made fresh to order delivered throughout Melbourne. Whether it’s mixed posies for your Aunt’s birthday in Ferntree Gully, some bright and happy Gerberas for a get-well surprise when your bestie’s got the sniffles in Brunswick, or a well-deserved Thank You bouquet to your workmate in the CBD for covering your shift the other week.