Cut-Flower Care

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

How to make your cut-flowers last longer.


{Level: Beginners/General}


I've put together some easy care tips to ensure that your cut-flowers and foliage last for as long as possible:

  • Begin with your vase. Check that it’s spotlessly clean. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, any grubby marks will mar the final visual effect and secondly, dirt can harbour bacteria which will affect the longevity of your floral arrangement.

  • Always use clean and fresh water. Fill your vase or container to at least the half-way mark, or a little more. Water can evaporate surprisingly quickly inside, so make sure to allow for this. Also, be mindful of shorter stems and ensure they will sit in the water, not above it.

  • You may choose to add floral food to prolong the life of your arrangement further. Often this is delivered with your flowers.

  • Remove any leaves that will sit below the water line. This helps to keep the water clean, as foliage will quickly rot when left submerged.

  • Trim your flower stems to the required height before placing in water. Start by holding the flowers and foliage up against the vase you’ve chosen and decide how much of the stem you will need to remove. Generally speaking, for the best visual impact, the arrangement will be at between one to one and a half times {1:1.5} the height of the container. Of course, there are exceptions, and you should cut the stems to suit your design needs.

  • Ideally, cut off at least an inch of stem before placing in the vase. This will remove bacteria clogs from the stem and ensure water uptake is not compromised.

  • Cut stems diagonally rather than straight across. Cutting on an angle ensures they will be able to draw in water even if the stems are touching the bottom of the container.

  • I suggest using a sharp knife rather than scissors when re-cutting stems and foliage. This will avoid crushing and blocking the stem which in turn inhibits water take-up.

  • Place flowers into the water-filled container as soon as they’ve been cut.

  • Remember to change the water at least every few days, but preferably daily for best results.

  • Re-cut the flower stems approximately every second or third day.

  • It’s very important to display them away from heat sources such as the top of fridges, beside TVs, next to open fireplaces and in direct sunlight.

  • And remember to keep your arrangements away from fruit bowls. This is because, as it ripens, fruit gives off a hormonal substance called ethylene which will cause your flowers to wilt prematurely. For the same reason, make sure to remove any wilting flowers promptly. They also cause ethylene to be produced, and this will affect the remaining flowers.

Last but not least, make sure to display your beautiful flowers where you'll be able to see and enjoy them often!

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