How to make cut flowers last longer


DIY and how-to

Glass vase containing pink garden roses, blue statice flowers, and foliage.

There’s nothing like a lush bouquet of flowers picked fresh from your summer garden. There are many ‘tricks’ for making your arrangements last longer, but many are ineffective and do more harm than good. Our garden experts share their basic cut-flower maintenance tips and show that with a little care and some common gardening sense, your blooms can stay fragrant and looking their best for up to two weeks longer.

How to keep cut flowers fresh in a vase: 

  • Handle your cut flowers with care and in a cool area. Remember that cut flowers are essentially alive and that rough treatment could send the buds into shock, which will reduce their vase life. 
  • Ensure that your vase is clean and thoroughly disinfected. 
  • Remove all leaves from the stem that may come into contact with the water in the vase.
  • Cut the stems at an angle before placing in water in a vase. The fresh cut will ensure proper water absorption, whereas the angle will prevent the stems from sitting flush on the bottom of the vase. Recut the stem every few days, as scar formation on the cut stem will cut off the water supply.
  • Whilst still attached to the mother plant, blooms are fed with water and nutrients. Once cut, this food supply is also cut off. Feed your cut flowers with a specialised cut-flower feed, like Chrysal, that not only feeds the flower, but is also antibacterial and will maintain the correct balance within the water to allow for maximum absorption.
  • Ripening fruit gives off ethylene gas, which can poison flowers, so place the arrangement away from your fruit bowl.
  • Flowers also emit some ethylene, so it is best to place them where there’s fresh air circulation. Do not place your vase in direct sunlight.
  • Do not change the water but, when necessary, top up the vase with more cut-flower feed solution in the same concentration as that in the vase.
  • Never spray your flowers with water, as this will encourage fungi on the petals and leaves to develop, which will spoil your flowers.