5 Ways to Keep Flowers Fresh
1. Make sure your scissors are sharp before trimming
We’ve all mashed the ends of a stem using scissors that weren’t quite strong enough to slice through thicker ends. Turns out, that unclean cut isn’t just ugly; it damages flower cells, and as a result, the flower can’t absorb water as easily.
2. Create your own plant food
Yes, you can go the DIY route. Here are three homemade flower preservatives Mason recommends trying:
- Apple Cider Vinegar + Sugar: Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar + one teaspoon of granulated sugar. “The ACV kills bacteria and is an eco-friendlier alternative than bleach,” Mason explains.
- Lemon Juice + Bleach: Combine one teaspoon lemon juice and one teaspoon regular sugar with two drops of bleach. “The bleach may seem extreme, but it is very effective in preventing bacterial growth on flower stems,” she adds.
- Lemon Lime Soda + Water: Add one part Lemon-Lime Soda to three parts water. “The soda has both acid and sugar to prevent bacterial growth and provide nutrients for the flowers,” Mason says.
3. Skip the sugar when feeding these types of flowers
“There are three flowers that don’t benefit from adding sugar: tulips, daffodils and daisies, so it’s best to use solely bleach or apple cider vinegar if your bouquet contains these flowers,” she notes.
4. Keep your arrangement out of the sun
“Location, location, location” also applies to flowers. When you’re displaying your arrangement, avoid windows and sunny spots. “Unlike potted plants, picked flowers are at their peak perfection, and placing them in the sun will encourage them to ‘mature’ and ultimately shorten [their] lifespan,” Mason says.
5. …And away from the fruit bowl
This tip caught us by surprise, but when Mason explained it, it made sense. “Fruit gives off an odorless, invisible gas called ethylene, which is deadly for flowers,” she says. (The gas is harmless to humans, so don’t worry about that.) Apples and pears, in particular, produce more ethylene, so if you have those on your kitchen counter, you might want to choose another spot for your peonies.
The Bottom Line:
With the right care, fresh-cut flowers could last you a week to a week and a half. It’s all a matter of planning out ten minutes of maintenance every two to three days.