Seven ‘easy’ steps to make cut flowers ‘fresher for longer’

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Fresh flowers can add great colour and a gorgeous scent into the home, but they will often last around five to seven days which isn’t very long considering they can be expensive. Chris Bonnett from said: “Cut flowers are the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and keeping them looking gorgeous for longer is easy if you follow these tips.

“Factors like the way we cut the flowers, the type of vase we see them in and the temperature of the room that we keep them in all makes such a difference in the longevity of your beautiful blooms.”

1. Choose the right vase

When it comes to buying vases, many will pick ones they like the look of, instead of actually thinking about how long flowers may last in them.

Heavier flower arrangements should be kept in a short vase along with short stems, giving them more room as they bloom.

The expert said a lighter selection of flowers can be placed in a taller vase, this is because they will take up less room as they grow.

2. Use the flower food provided

The gardening pro explained: “Most cut flowers come with a packet of flower food which a lot of people tend to disregard. Fill up the vase and add the sachet in to the water.

“If your flowers don’t come with flower food, you can make your own at home. Mix together two tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of bleach for every litre of water.”

According to Chris, this homemade concoction will “slow down bacteria growth” and keep the bouquet “fresher for longer”.

3. Keep the flowers away from heat

Just like houseplants, cut flowers should be kept away from heat sources, including near sunlight despite the belief that it will help them thrive.

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In fact, cut flowers will actually do better in a cooler environment. The expert noted: “Avoid keeping them anywhere in your home that gets too warm and humid.”

4. Change the water every other day

This is often a forgotten step when it comes to looking after fresh flowers, but they do need maintenance, including changing the water every other day.

Bacteria will thrive in stale water so keeping it fresh will enable you to get the most out of your freshly cut bouquet.

According to gardening experts at Two Wests & Elliot, some flowers may even prefer warm water, such as roses, the most popular Valentine’s Day flower.

The experts said: “Be sure to pop them into lukewarm water once you receive them. However, if you don’t receive roses, do a bit of investigating to see what water temperature your flowers prefer.”

5. Don’t forget to wash the vase

The gardening expert continued: “Each time you change the water in your vase, you’ll also want to give it a really good clean with warm soapy water.

“Don’t forget to give it a good rinse to ensure all of the soap residue is off before putting your flowers back in.”

6. Cut your flowers properly

Chris said one of the “biggest” mistakes people make is not cutting the stems properly in the first place which can result in them dying much quicker.

Make sure you have a sharp knife or secateurs and cut the stem at a 45 degree angle each time you replace the water in the vase.

The expert noted: “This will provide the stem with the largest surface area possible, meaning it can absorb more water.”

7. Clean up foliage below water level

It’s important to keep the water in the vase as clean as possible, meaning any foliage which is below water level also needs to be cleared away.

Leaving foliage in the water may cause it to “rot” which will harm the flowers and kill them off very quickly.

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