How to preserve cut flowers

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Things You Will Need

Warning

Keep in mind that a dirty vase may have bacteria that can adversely affect the health of your fresh flowers.

The unexpected delivery of fresh flowers will brighten your day, but even purchasing or growing them yourself makes the day feel a little sunnier. You will want your flowers to stay fresh and look vibrant, so it is important to know how to care for them so they will look lovely even after you have them overnight. Putting a little effort into caring for your cut flowers will make it easier to justify their expense because you can enjoy them longer.

Change Water

Change the water and, if needed, the vase at night to ensure that the water and container do not have bacteria so your flowers will remain healthy and long lasting. You may be running around during the day so it will probably be easier to take a few steps in the evening to maintain the beauty of your cut flowers.

Add a small amount of bleach, about a teaspoon, to the fresh water as it will help kill bacteria and keep the water looking clean.

Look at the stems and make sure they are cut diagnally. Stems should be periodically cut while submerged in water so that the stems can easily absorb water. Toss out any cut stems in the trash. Fresh water keeps your flowers moist. You can also spray the cut flowers with a light mist of cold water.

At night, move your floral arrangement to a refrigerator if it will fit. Neither you or your guests will be enjoying the flowers in the late evening, so it is the perfect time to cool them off. Flowers last longer when they are in a cool environment. If you have ever gone to a florist, you may have noticed many floral arrangements are kept in a refrigerated unit.

If your flower arrangement will not fit in a refrigerator at night. try moving the arrangement to a cool area in the house that is away from a heating element or vent. All houses heat differently, so determine the coolest room in your home and position the flowers there so that they can enjoy the cooler air.

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Fresh cut flower bouquets and arrangements are wonderful and exciting gifts for all occasions. Whether you delight in the vibrant eye-catching color of the blooms, the mixture and variety of the flowers, or the alluring fragrance, you will surely want to maximize the experience by following one of these ten methods for preserving cut flowers.

These tricks of the trade will help keep your cut flowers healthy, perky and ensure that they bloom and live longer. Each method listed should be repeated at least every third day.

#1. Cutting Stems at 45-Degree Angle

How to preserve cut flowers

A very common method used in increasing the lifespan of your fresh flowers is to cut the stem ends at approximately a 45-degree angle.

The diagonal cutting of the stem is important because when placed in the container, the stem won’t rest completely on the bottom. This allows for water to enter the stem more efficiently and reach the top ensuring that all water and nutrients get where they need to go.

It is suggested that you clip off approximately 1 inch to 2 inches off the stem. You will want to repeat this process each time you refresh your vase. It is also suggested that you select a container with a wide opening so that stems are not cramped or crowded. Remember to place the stems in your water mixture as quickly as possible after trimming the ends.

#2. Adjusting Water Temperature

How to preserve cut flowers

Helping cut flowers thrive and bloom their brightest revolves around water temperature. Across the board, lukewarm water speeds the water moving up the plant’s straw-like stems. The exception to this rule is when working with bulb flowers. These beauties prefer cold water.

This method allows for fewer air bubbles to clog the flower’s plumbing, so water and nutrients transport freely. There is also a trick known as “hardening” cut flowers and involves dipping the freshly cut stems in hot water.

#3. Removing Yellow Leaves and Leaves Below Water Line

How to preserve cut flowers

A common-sense trick that slows down the growth of bacteria in your vase which promotes healthier flowers and blooms. As you arrange the stems in the vase, be sure that you remove any leaves that will rest below the waterline.

As you refresh your vase every few days, be sure to check for any additional leaves that have drooped or died and remove them as well. Remember to rearrange flowers in order for new blooms to have space to open properly.

#4. Choosing The Best Location To Place Your Vase

How to preserve cut flowers

Ensuring fresh cut flower vitality is by selecting the proper display location for your arrangement. Fresh flowers should be kept away from areas with direct sunlight. Your display location should also be free from drafts and away from heat or air conditioning vents.

Keep in mind that ceiling fans, open windows, and even heat from common household appliances should be avoided. Cut flowers generally do best in cool temperatures. Remember that florists store cut flowers in refrigerators.

One final hint on display locations. Keep fresh fruit away from your flowers. As a fruit ripens, it gives off ethylene gas. This gas can shorten the life of fresh-cut flowers.

#5. Providing Nutrients

How to preserve cut flowers

This method touches on the basic needs of cut flowers including hydration, nutrients and keeping the growth of microorganisms in the vase to a minimum.

Experts suggest that water should be dumped, vases cleaned, stems reclipped, dead foliage and flowers removed and the arrangement quickly placed back into clean water containing a mix that feeds the plant and slows the growth of bacterial organisms.

Many cut flowers come with a flower food packet. Sprinkle small amounts of the packet into the clean water each time and stir.

The plant food in these packets contains sugar, bleach and an acidifier. If you do not get a packet with your flowers, you can mix your own using drops of bleach, a bit of sugar and citrus juice with water or citrus soda.

Mixture recipes suggest mixing a quart of warm water with at least 2 tablespoons citrus juice with ½ teaspoon regular bleach and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir well and place in a vase.

#6. Maintaining A Healthy Environment

This focuses on the basic need of keeping microorganisms at bay by cleaning the vase, removing wilted, browning or decaying flowers or leaves, diagonally clipping stem ends and

placing your cut flowers into fresh warm water containing several drops to a maximum of ¼ teaspoon regular bleach for each quart of water used. It is suggested that you wear gloves and stir the water prior to reinserting the cut flowers.

#7. Preserving Flowers

This is for preserving fresh bunches of blossoms including all the clipping and cleaning suggestions listed in the previous methods.

The process looks to clear sodas as the ingredient for preserving vigor and longevity of the flowers. Any clear soda should do the trick! With basic maintenance done, just stir in ¼ cup to a full vase and add flowers.

#8. Using Apple Cider Vinegar and Sugar

This one takes a slightly different twist, using common apple cider vinegar and sugar. Once the flowers have been removed from the vase and clipped for dead matter and stem ends trimmed, warm water is added to the vase with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Stir well until sugar is dissolved and add flowers. The vinegar and sugar accomplish the tasks of impeding the growth of bacteria in the water while the sugar nourishes the cut flowers.

#9. Using Aspirin

Here is a simple yet effective way to add longevity and bloom to your arrangement. Just take an adult aspirin and crush it. Place the aspirin in a quart of warm water and mix until completely dissolved.

Service fresh flowers by removing any wilted, browning or spent flowers or leaves. Clip stem ends diagonally and rearrange flowers in the vase.

#10 Using Alcohol

This allows flowers to absorb nutrients from the water and decrease bacteria in the vase by helping to halt ethylene gas production in the arrangement.

The recipe suggests a few drops of any see-through alcohol such as gin and 1 teaspoon of household sugar mixed in about a quart of warm water. Stir well and place prepared cut flowers in the mixture.

In Summary

Whether you choose to use a commercially prepared flower extender packet or a fresh cut flower extender made from common home ingredients, they really can extend and preserve the beauty and vitality of your fresh cut flower arrangement.

Lovely fresh cut flowers create memories, especially wedding flowers! Using one of these ten methods for preserving your cut flowers will have you enjoying your bouquets and arrangements to the fullest extent possible.

If you want to learn more about other types of flowers, visit this page.

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How to preserve cut flowers

Freshly cut flowers are a delight to receive as a gift or to liven up a home or office space. Flowers are invariably perishable, but there are a few tricks for making them last their longest. Florists often include life-extending powder with their deliveries, but some ingredients found around the house, including aspirin, vodka and sugary soft drinks, also can extend the life of fresh-cut flowers.

In many cases, floral bouquets sent from a florist will come with a special flower powder life extender packet to make flowers last longer. This packet contains a specially formulated powder that nourishes the flowers and keeps bacteria from forming. The contents of the packet should be poured into the vase, fresh tap water can be added and then the flowers can be placed into the vase. Each day, replace half of the water in the vase to keep oxygen levels up and the flowers should last a week or longer.

Another way to keep fresh flowers looking their best is to add a tablet of aspirin to the water in the vase. This is essentially what florists use in their life-extender packets. If you happen to receive flowers without a packet, you can substitute a tablet of aspirin to make flowers last longer and keep their color for at week or more. It’s also important to snip a little bit off the ends of the stems of the flowers at a slight angle to give them a clean path by which water will travel up the shaft to the flower itself.

Some people swear by adding a couple capfuls of cheap vodka, Sprite® or 7-up® soda to the water in a vase when dealing with brightly colored flowers such as roses and carnations. The sugar in the soda serves to add some nourishment to the water and the vodka helps with sterilizing the water, which cuts down on bacteria growth. This should also bring out the fragrance in the flowers in addition to helping to make flowers last longer.

An additional tip to make flowers last longer is to make sure that all leaves stay out of the water. Leaves on the stems can actually promote scum and bacteria which forms on the surface of the plant stems and water and cuts down on fresh oxygen from reaching flower petals at the top. Be sure to trim stems and leaves so that they don’t contaminate the water which will give fresh flowers a longer lifespan.

Bringing fresh-cut flowers indoors is one of the many joys of gardening. Keep your arrangements beautiful with these step-by-step tips.

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How to preserve cut flowers

Zinnia x (02) Habit

Materials Needed

  • stem-cutting shears or sharp pruners
  • pail
  • vase
  • 1 cup regular 7-Up
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon household bleach

Step 1: Cut Flowers

Some of the best and most widely adapted annual cut flowers with the longest vase life include alstroemeria, aster, celosia, cosmos, gypsophila, lavatera, rudbeckia, scabiosa, snapdragon, statice, sunflower, yarrow and zinnia (pictured). It’s best to cut flowers in your garden in the morning, before the dew has dried, or in the early evening. With stem-cutting shears or sharp pruners, snip above a node or dormant bud to spur new blooms. Put stems in a pail of lukewarm water as you cut them. Tip: Flowers with hollow stems do not have a long vase life.

Step 2: Recut Stems

Once indoors, recut stems on a slant under water to eliminate air bubbles that block uptake of food and water. Certain types of flowers (including celosia, sunflower and zinnia) benefit from scalding the stem ends in boiling water for 20 seconds or over a candle flame to stop nutrient-rich sap from oozing. To prevent decay, remove bruised leaves and foliage below the water line.

Step 3: Condition Flowers

Condition flowers several hours before arranging. Rest stems in lukewarm water in a cool, dark place so they can absorb water.

Step 4: Arrange Flowers

Arrange conditioned flowers in a vase of warm (110 degrees F) water. To slow aging, place the vase in a well-ventilated cool place (as low as 38 degrees F). Don’t store flowers near unsealed fruits and vegetables, which produce ethylene, a gas that hastens ripening, or in the case of flowers, aging.

Step 5: Add Water

Fresh-cut flowers have enough stored sugars to survive in a vase, but if you would like to add a preservative, try a homemade version. Tests have found commercial floral preservatives to be less effective than the following formula; the sugar in the 7-Up provides energy for the flowers, and the bleach controls bacteria. Simply mix together 1 cup regular 7-Up, 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon household bleach. If you need more liquid, just increase the amounts proportionately.

Step 6: Change Water

Change water in the vase every couple of days. In mixed bouquets, some of the flowers may give off sap that is toxic to other varieties, shortening their vase life. That process can be avoided by frequently refreshing the water.

Keep Your Flowers Beautiful Longer

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How to preserve cut flowers

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  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College
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You know if you put fresh cut flowers in water it will help keep them from wilting. If you have a packet of cut flower preservative from a florist or the store, it will help the flowers to stay fresh much longer. You can make cut flower preservative yourself, however. There are several good recipes, made using common household ingredients.

Keys to Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

  • Give them water.
  • Give them food.
  • Protect them from decay or infection.
  • Keep them cool and out of direct sunlight.

The floral preservative provides flowers with water and food and contains a disinfectant to prevent bacteria from growing. Making sure your vase is clean will also help. Try to minimize air circulation, since it speeds evaporation and can dehydrate your flowers.

Preparing the Flowers

Start by discarding any decaying leaves or flowers. Trim the bottom ends of your flowers with a clean, sharp blade before arranging them in the vase containing the floral preservative. Cut the stems at an angle to increase the surface area for water absorption and to prevent the ends from resting flat on the bottom of the container.

The Water

In all cases, mix the floral preservative using warm water (100–110° F or 38–40° C) because it will move into the stems more effectively than cold water. Clean tap water will work, but if yours is very high in salts or fluorides, consider using distilled water instead. Chlorine in tap water is fine since it acts as a natural disinfectant. Select one of the following recipes and use it to fill your vase instead of plain water.

Recipe 1

  • 2 cups lemon-lime carbonated beverage (e.g., Sprite or 7-Up)
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 2 cups warm water

Recipe 2

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 1 quart warm water

Recipe 3

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 1 quart warm water

More Tips

  • Trim away any foliage which would be below the water line. The wet leaves encourage microbial growth that can rot your flowers.
  • Remove any unnecessary leaves because they will accelerate dehydration of the flowers.
  • Flowers with milky latex-containing sap require special treatment. Examples of these flowers include poinsettia, heliotrope, hollyhock, euphorbia, and poppy. The sap is meant to prevent water loss by the stem, but in a cut flower, it keeps the plant from absorbing water. You can prevent this problem by dipping the bottom tips (

1/2 inch) of the stems in boiling water for about 30 seconds or by flashing the tips of the stems with a lighter or other flame.

Dry ‘em, press ‘em, and, uh. microwave ‘em?

By Sophie Bushwick October 07, 2019

Those flowers may have looked good when you first received them, but despite your best efforts, you can’t keep them fresh forever. If you really want to preserve your blooms, you need to remove their moisture with a process like air-drying, pressing, or nuking them in the microwave. (You can also try dipping them in wax, but that method is harder to pull off.)

“There are many quirky and unconventional techniques out there,” Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising at floral retailer 1-800-Flowers, told Popular Science in an email. “All these ways have the potential to produce beautiful and consistent results.” While you can try any preservation method, each one does have its own pros and cons.

For the traditional: air-drying

To stick with a classic technique, you can simply hang your bouquet upside down. As the air wicks moisture away from the blooms, they should gradually dehydrate.

However, this method can be a little finicky: Flowers may shed their petals, and mold can attack them. Plus, the process takes a few weeks. On the bright side, this drying technique does preserve the flowers’ stems.

To start, you’ll need twine or ribbon, a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight (like a closet with the door open), a hook or hanger that will support your bouquet’s weight, and, optionally, hairspray.

If you’d like to experiment with air-drying, wait for your blooms to partially or fully open. Then tie a few of them together by their stems. Fasten them tightly enough that they won’t slip out—as they dry, they may shrink—but loosely enough that they don’t bend the stem, because those compressed areas will be damp and thus attractive to mold.

Next, hang the bouquet upside down in your drying area. Ventilation will help dry the flowers, and a lack of sunlight will reduce the amount that their colors fade. Leave the bundle for two to four weeks, checking back at regular intervals to see how it’s doing. Once your flowers are dry, a quick spritz with hairspray will help prevent them from crumbling too easily.

For the risk-averse: book-pressing

If you want an easy preservation method, with the least risk of messing up your results, you can press any flower variety in a book. That’s not to say that the process is fast—it can take a month for the petals to fully dry out—but your work load up front is minimal.

“There’s little effort and upkeep that goes into this technique,” Palomares said, “and the results are consistently wonderful.” The only downside is that pressing works best when you remove the stems.

For this method, you’ll need a heavy hardcover book, such as a dictionary or coffee-table tome, a few sheets of paper or waxed paper, and a pair of scissors.

Start by trimming your flowers down to the heads, removing as much of the stem as possible. Then take the book, open it to the center, and cover the pages with a sheet of paper or waxed paper. Close and reopen the book to crease the liner layer so it will stay in place. Finally, place the bud close to the middle of one of the pages, press the bud flat on the paper, and close the book.

Over time, the liner paper or waxed paper will absorb moisture from the flower, gradually desiccating it. Check your flower’s progress once a week or so, replacing the liner paper to give it a fresh dry surface. After four to five weeks, you’ll have a dried blossom that should last indefinitely.

For impatient driers: silica gel

If you want results fast, you can speed up the drying process. However, these techniques require that you pay more attention to the flowers. You can sometimes over-dry them, resulting in fragile blooms that can crumble all too easily.

For a speedy version of the air-drying method, cover your blossoms in a moisture-absorbing desiccant like silica gel, which is made up of silicon dioxide, a key component of sand. Although silica gel can be expensive ($21 for 5 pounds on Amazon), you can always reuse it. In addition to the gel itself, you’ll need an air-tight flat-bottomed container, such as a jar or piece of Tupperware.

Pour some silica gel into the bottom of your container to form a layer between 1/2 inch and 1 inch thick. Add a layer of flowers, and then pour more gel on top, making sure it gets in between the petals, until the blossoms are completely covered. Pop the lid back on the container, and leave it for a couple days.

Check on the dried flowers every two days, for up to a couple weeks, until they feel dry. Then remove them, brush off any remaining sticky gel, and save the leftover silica for another day. You can keep using it until it turns pink, indicating it has lost its moisture-absorbing abilities.

For impatient pressers: microwave pressing

Just as silica acts like a speedy version of the air-drying technique, you can use microwaves in an update of the pressing method. As the microwave radiation heats up the liquid inside flowers, it escapes as vapor, drying the blooms.

“While it may seem unusual, pressing flowers in a microwave is a perfectly safe and quick option for those looking to save time and resources,” said Palomares. However, he said, “Like any shortcut, there’s a slightly higher chance of this method producing mixed results when compared to the others.”

For this option, you’ll need two microwave-safe ceramic plates, several coffee filters, and, of course, a microwave.

To start, layer your materials in this order: face-up plate, coffee filter, flower, coffee filter, face-up plate. Pop this sandwich into the microwave for one minute, then take it out, check the dryness of the flower, and replace the coffee filters with fresh ones. Repeat this process until the blossom is as dry as you want it to be.

All the techniques can turn your flowers from ephemera into mementoes. Try experimenting with a couple different methods to see which one gives you the best results.

Keep your flowers looking fresh for longer.

There’s nothing like a vase of fresh flowers to breathe life into a room. However, as soon as those flowers start to wilt and wither, a bouquet has the opposite effect. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to prolong the life of your stems. Follow these tips for your freshest flowers yet.

Start with a Clean Vase

To keep an arrangement fresh and attractive, you should first clean your vase to eliminate harmful bacteria. Scrub it with a mixture of one part bleach to ten parts water, then rinse thoroughly.

Condition Your Flowers

If you’re buying flowers from a shop, the florist should have conditioned them for you. But whenever you pick flowers from your garden or buy a growers’ bunch at a farm stand, follow these simple steps to keep them in good shape for a week or longer. First, cut all green and woody stems at a 45-degree angle. This prevents stems from sitting flat in the bottom of the vase and creates a large surface area, ensuring maximum water absorption. Use clippers or shears for woody stems and sharp scissors or knives for other flowers. If possible, cut stems under water. Remove any leaves that would otherwise sit under the waterline in the vase. Leaves rot when submerged, encouraging algae and bacteria in the container and shortening the life of the blooms.

Feed Your Flowers

For cut flowers to survive, they need sugar for nourishment and an acidic ingredient, such as aspirin, to help them absorb water. Cut-flower food provides all the nutrition stems need, but you can also use this formula: For every quart of water, add two aspirins, a teaspoon of sugar, and a few drops of bleach (to reduce bacteria).

Refresh the Water

Thirsty flowers are dead flowers. Check the water level frequently to make sure stem ends are generously covered. Every five days, change the water completely and recut the stems using the method described above.

Find out how to keep the beauty of your garden going all year long by learning the best way to preserve flowers.

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Whether it’s your bridal bouquet, an anniversary or Valentine’s Day arrangement, or a particularly gorgeous vase of flowers gathered from your own garden, drying your flowers will preserve their beauty and sentimental value. Dry flowers make lovely home decor and can be used in a myriad of craft projects. The preservation method you use will depend on the look you wish to achieve and the type of flower.

How to preserve cut flowers

Photo by: Shutterstock/Chamille White

How to Air Dry Flowers

Air drying is also known simply as hanging the bouquet upside down. This method is best for entire bouquets or robust flowers such as roses, lavender, strawflower, baby’s breath, statice, celosia, gomphrena and thistle.

  • Strip excess foliage from flowers.
  • Cut stems to the desired length, but leave at least 6 inches.
  • Use a rubber band or twine to tie the stems together (if you have a bouquet).
  • Hang them upside down in a dark, dry, well-ventilated area. Keeping the flowers out of direct sunlight will help them retain their color.
  • The drying process will take about two to three weeks.
  • Once dried, take down the flowers and spray with unscented hairspray for protection.

How to preserve cut flowers

Photo by: Shutterstock/Mark Brandon

How to Preserve Flowers in the Microwave

Another way to dry blossoms is to use a microwave with the help of silica gel. The gel helps to preserve the shape of the flowers and is reusable. Individual flower blooms such as Gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, roses and tulips take well to the microwave flower-drying technique. This drying method helps preserve color and structure better than air drying. You can also use silica gel to dry flowers without the help of the microwave, but it takes longer. Silica gel is available in large containers at craft stores and online.

  • Remove the blooms from the stems.
  • Find a microwave-safe container that will fit into your microwave and hold your blooms. Make sure that this container will not be used for food after the drying process.
  • Cover the bottom of the container with an inch of silica gel (you may need a bit more for larger blossoms.)
  • Place flowers blossom-up in the gel.
  • Gently pour more gel over the blooms so the petals do not get flattened.
  • Place the container, uncovered, into the microwave.
  • Temperature and time will vary according to the flower. Start the microwave on a low heat setting and let it run for 2 to 5 minutes. Check the flowers’ drying progress before you increase the heat or the time.
  • Once the flowers are dry, open the microwave and cover the container.
  • Remove the container from the microwave and open the top slightly to vent.
  • Let it sit for 24 hours.
  • After the 24 hours, remove the gel from the petals with a soft brush.
  • Mist with acrylic spray for protection.

Tip: Dried flowers fade quickly in sunlight or extreme heat. Keep them in cool areas away from windows.

Keep Your Flowers Beautiful Longer

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How to preserve cut flowers

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  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College
  • Facebook Facebook
  • Twitter Twitter

You know if you put fresh cut flowers in water it will help keep them from wilting. If you have a packet of cut flower preservative from a florist or the store, it will help the flowers to stay fresh much longer. You can make cut flower preservative yourself, however. There are several good recipes, made using common household ingredients.

Keys to Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

  • Give them water.
  • Give them food.
  • Protect them from decay or infection.
  • Keep them cool and out of direct sunlight.

The floral preservative provides flowers with water and food and contains a disinfectant to prevent bacteria from growing. Making sure your vase is clean will also help. Try to minimize air circulation, since it speeds evaporation and can dehydrate your flowers.

Preparing the Flowers

Start by discarding any decaying leaves or flowers. Trim the bottom ends of your flowers with a clean, sharp blade before arranging them in the vase containing the floral preservative. Cut the stems at an angle to increase the surface area for water absorption and to prevent the ends from resting flat on the bottom of the container.

The Water

In all cases, mix the floral preservative using warm water (100–110° F or 38–40° C) because it will move into the stems more effectively than cold water. Clean tap water will work, but if yours is very high in salts or fluorides, consider using distilled water instead. Chlorine in tap water is fine since it acts as a natural disinfectant. Select one of the following recipes and use it to fill your vase instead of plain water.

Recipe 1

  • 2 cups lemon-lime carbonated beverage (e.g., Sprite or 7-Up)
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 2 cups warm water

Recipe 2

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 1 quart warm water

Recipe 3

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
  • 1 quart warm water

More Tips

  • Trim away any foliage which would be below the water line. The wet leaves encourage microbial growth that can rot your flowers.
  • Remove any unnecessary leaves because they will accelerate dehydration of the flowers.
  • Flowers with milky latex-containing sap require special treatment. Examples of these flowers include poinsettia, heliotrope, hollyhock, euphorbia, and poppy. The sap is meant to prevent water loss by the stem, but in a cut flower, it keeps the plant from absorbing water. You can prevent this problem by dipping the bottom tips (

1/2 inch) of the stems in boiling water for about 30 seconds or by flashing the tips of the stems with a lighter or other flame.