13 Long-Lasting Flowers That Won’t Wilt the Second You Bring ‘Em Home
Want to elevate your self-care routine? Buy some fresh flowers, or cut a bouquet from your own garden. Multiple studies have shown that flowers have an immediate positive impact on happiness, boosting your mood for days. (Yes, days!). And tons of other research has shown that being around plants and nature, whether tending your garden or enjoying a walk around the neighborhood, is good for you physically and mentally.
Something that doesn’t give you feel-good vibes? Bringing home a gorgeous bouquet of flowers only to have the blooms wilt as soon as you trim them. Happily, many different types of cut flowers are long-lasting, with some that will look fresh for a week or more in a vase. Plus, many are super easy to grow, so you can enjoy them in your own garden or in pots on a patio, deck or balcony. And even if you treat yourself to a bouquet from the grocery store regularly, isn’t your mental health worth a few bucks a week?
To help your cut flowers last longer, cut stems at an angle when harvesting to increase surface area for water absorption (ditto when you bring home store-bought bouquets). Then strip the leaves from the bottom of the stem so they won’t be submerged in the vase and promote bacterial growth. Rinse the vase and refill with clean water every day, and keep the vase in a cool area away from full sun. Follow these tips with our pick of the best long-lasting flowers below and you’ll be able to enjoy those beautiful blooms (and the mood-boosting benefits) for weeks.
Mums are an easy plant to grow and will tolerate most soil types. Technically, they’re perennials that come back year after year, but make sure to plant in spring (not fall) so they have time to get their roots established before winter sets in. Otherwise, enjoy them as annuals. Make sure to strip all the lower leaves before displaying in a vase, where they’ll last for 10 days or more.
Carnations, which come in annual and perennial types, are available in almost every color of the rainbow, though you’re more likely to see the spray or dwarf carnations in gardens, rather than the large florist’s carnations. Some have a wonderful spicy scent. All types can last two to three weeks in a vase.
This perennial has silvery-green scented foliage and pretty purple spikes of flowers that bloom from early summer for weeks and weeks. Though not often thought of as a cut flower, trim off the entire stem with foliage and flower spike to add a boho or cottage flair to mixed bouquets. The cut stems last for weeks.
Coneflowers come in a rainbow of colors and make long-lasting cut flowers, with blooms lasting a week to 10 days in the vase. Pollinators love them! Make sure these native flowers have plenty of sun to bloom well.
You might not think of these as cut flowers, but these bulbs, a member of the onion family, have the most beautiful globe-shaped flowers that last for about 10 days or more in the vase.
Dahlias are stunning flowers that come in every color and size, ranging from tiny pom poms to giant, lush dinner plate-sized types. In cold regions, you’ll need to dig up the tubers in the fall and replant the following spring. They’re not super long-lasting compared to some others listed here, but they’ll look their best for up to a week in a vase. And because they’re so gorgeous, they’re totally worth bringing indoors to enjoy from your garden.
These hardy annuals come in many different colors and sizes and are pollinator favorites. The sturdy stems can last about 10 days once cut.
8. Upright Sedum
This succulent may not be your first thought for a cutting flower, but it should be part of every garden because it’s so reliable, drought-tolerant and pest-free. There are many different types, but look for the upright varieties for cutting. The stems last an exceedingly long time, about a month or more in a vase.
Lavender is a cutting garden favorite because of its pretty silvery foliage and amazing fragrance. The stems last for weeks in water, or you can harvest and dry for a bouquet that looks amazing for months.
There are many different varieties of hydrangeas, but the ones that make the longest-lasting cut flowers tend to be the panicle types. They look great for weeks in water. Or simply place the cut stems in a vase and let them dry naturally. This technique requires zero effort from you, and the dried flowers will last for up to a year, though the color fades.
These charming annuals are a great drought-tolerant flower in hot climates. They appear to be made of straw (of course), so they’re super-sturdy and make fun additions to fresh or dried arrangements.
Salvias are grown as both annuals and perennials; read the label to know what you’re buying. These pretty plants have spikes of white, purple or pink flowers that pollinators absolutely adore. They make incredibly long-lasting bouquets, blooming for a couple of weeks in a vase.
13. Baby’s Breath
There’s a reason florists always add these ethereal flowers to bouquets: They last forever! Baby’s breath make charming garden plants, but they’re also delightful when displayed alone or with other cutting garden flowers in a vase, where they’ll look good for 10 days or more.