Flower Care

Tips to Prolong Cut Flowers

Once cut from the plant, flowers still require the nutrients that were provided on the plant, namely food and water. You can ensure an optimum vase life for your cut flowers by following these general guidelines.

Most importantly, cut flowers need to draw good quality water up the stem to the flower head. To ensure water uptake through the stem, follow these steps:

Basic Cut Flower Care Instructions:


Flower Food Recipe

You can make your own flower food with ingredients typically on hand.

  • 1 quart warm water (100°F)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • teaspoon liquid bleach
Mix together until sugar is dissolved. Pour into clean display vase and add cut flowers. Add solution to vase as water level decreases. Replace solution with fresh solution if it should become cloudy in color.

Use a clean vase. Wash your vase with warm soapy water after each use. Residue in the vase will contaminate the water and shorten vase life. Use good quality tap water at approximately 100° F to fill your vase. Add commercially prepared 'flower food' or 'preservative' to your vase water. Or make your own. Recipe follows. Flower food contains nutrients to provide your flowers nourishment and a bactericide to keep the buildup in the water to a minimum.

Cut stem ends a minimum of one inch prior to placing in vase water, plus whatever length is appropriate for the height of your vase. Make the stem cut a clean cut on a 45° angle. Use sharp garden shears or a sharp knife. A smooth cut will ensure that the water uptake vessels are not crushed and the angle allows more stem surface to draw water. Place cut stems immediately into the vase and arrange accordingly.

Displaying your cut flowers. Keep in mind that flowers do not like extremes. Hot or cold. Wind or bright light. Display your flowers away from strong light from a window. Avoid tops of televisions or proximity to heater vents. Avoid drafts from fans or a/c. vents. Every other day re-cut stem bottoms one half inch. The fresh cut insures good water uptake through the flower stem.

Check vase water level every other day. Add water with preservative as needed. If the water becomes cloudy, replace the entire vase water with fresh preservative water. Remove foliage that will fall below the water line in your vase. Foliage decaying in the water shortens the vase life of flowers.

Other helpful floral tips:

  • Your blooms may open more rapidly in lukewarm (not hot) water.
  • Lily pollen can stain your cloths or tablecloth, so be sure to trim the pollen stem after the flower has opened. If you received Roses, remove the outside protective petal.
  • If your flowers appear to be fatigued upon arrival, don't worry - they're just thirsty!
  • Follow the above instructions and the flowers will open before your eyes.

Enjoy your flowers!