Do’s and Don’ts to Extend a Flower’s Vase Life

Posted By Allen's Flower Market On Tuesday, 08 November 2022 Back

Do’s and Don’ts to Extend a Flower’s Vase Life

Do’s and Don’ts to Extend a Flower’s Vase Life


Simple Tips to Keep Flowers Fresher, Longer

All great things must come to an end – like the many occasions that inspire us to give flowers, from anniversaries to birthdays, flowers do not last forever. However, with a few simple tweaks, you can add great mileage to your favorite bouquets, arrangements, and floral delights. We know that our customers value long-lasting flowers that keep their shape, scent, and beauty. Our guide to making flowers last will change how you think about a floral purchase – and will bring a refreshing second wind to your favorite fresh-cut flowers. 

Do’s and Don’ts to Keep Flowers Fresher, Longer

  •  DO: Set your flowers up for success straight away. One thing is sure – dropping a fresh bouquet into a vase half-full of water is not going to keep your flowers happy. It may be tempting to plunk your flowers into the water the moment you give them as a gift, but consider this: by spending a little more time taking care of the flowers up front, your gift will last far longer. Plus, you and the recipient can appreciate the full beauty of each flower by tending to them.

    Before you set your flowers in a vase, trim the stems. Flowers’ internal system relies on a fresh cut to effectively move water, oxygen, and other nutrients from the base of their stems to their petals. If you forget this first step, air entering the exposed base will prevent them from absorbing water. Cut them to a length appropriate for the vase you’re putting them in to maximize the amount of the stem that is submerged in water. Be sure to snip off at least a half-inch. Use garden shears or sharp kitchen scissors to prevent any shredding, and cut at a diagonal angle to allow the stem to sit easily at the base of your vase. Don’t be afraid to use a low vase! We love glass cube vases for their minimal effect on florals and accents. Yes – a lower vase means cutting down stems significantly and getting creative with your flowers!

  •  DON’T: Keep flowers out of water for too long. At the first possible opportunity, place your flowers in water. Using cool water will almost always help flowers to live longer. However, if your bouquet has an unopened bloom and you want to speed it along, some warm water will likely help it open up. Your vase should be at least 2/3 full of fresh water for flowers to be able to absorb what they need.

  • DO: Choose a clean vase. Does your favorite vase sit high on a shelf, gathering dust? Give fresh flowers a clean, new home to eliminate harmful bacteria. Scrub with a small amount of diluted bleach, then rinse thoroughly.

  •  DON’T: Keep flowers in the same water for days. Nobody wants to drink an old glass of water – the same holds true for your flowers. The longer water sits, the more likely it is to breed bacteria and algae. Every two days, remove your flowers from the vase, trim any rotting or soggy ends from the stems’ base, clean your vase thoroughly, and replace the flowers with fresh water. This is also a great time to add plant food. 

  • DO: Prune away leaves and foliage. A good rule of thumb is that only stems should sit below the waterline. When you’re first cutting down the stems, be sure to cut down any leaves or additional plant filler dangling in the water. When these accouterments soak up water, they become slimy, moldy, and bacteria-ridden – which will cause them to wilt and will create poor conditions for the flowers they’re nestled with. Make pruning a habit – when you see a wilted piece of plant, remove it from the vase. Similarly, some flowers live longer than others. If some of your flowers begin to wither before others, remove them so the longer-living flowers can thrive. 

  • DO: Put your flowers in the refrigerator overnight. You’ve seen refrigerated flowers at florists – why not take a trick from them? Refrigerating your bouquet while you’re sleeping and unable to enjoy it anyway is a great way to extend a flower’s life. This is particularly true in the summer or whenever the indoor temperatures are unusually high. 

  •  DO: Add plant food and other goodies to the water. Flower enthusiasts are known for adding all sorts of household goods to flowers to prolong their freshness. From pennies to bleach, vinegar to vodka, aspirin to dish soap – you name it, someone has tried it. While a popular additive, bleach is more effective at keeping your vase clean than maintaining healthy flowers. We still recommend bleach for cleaning your vase, but we remain unconvinced that it is a valuable additive for flowers. Plus, who wants their bouquet to smell like chemicals? Interestingly, clear lemon-lime soda is a favorite for adding to flowers’ freshness. The carbonation and sugar make for a helpful supplement to plant food. A crushed tablet of Vitamin C is also known to prolong flowers’ freshness.

Allen’s Flower Market has been a family-owned and operated business for over 40 years. Our premium service, easy-to-use online store, and a full suite of floral gifts have established us as a community favorite, and we have been voted the best florist in Long Beach since 2011. Visit any of our locations in Long Beach, Sunland, Reseda, and Los Angeles to check out our floral creations in person.