Elland Florist Halifax West Yorkshire

Keeping Fresh Cut Flowers Alive Longer

We receive our flowers in from our supplier in perfect condition. If you keep them in ideal conditions they should last two weeks (some flowers three weeks). Some types of flowers last longer than others, usually due to the density and relative fragility of the flower and stem. If you follow the advice below you flowers should keep for longer.

Fresh cut Peonies
  1. Choose the right vase. Always provide flowers with a clean vase free from any residue or leftover detergent. Lighter, more fragile cut flowers belong in a taller vase.
  2. Cut heavy blooms short should be in a low vase where they’ll have extra room to spread out.
  3. Cut two inches off the flower stems before placing them in water. Garden shears will give you the cleanest cut, but regular scissors will also do the trick. Cut stems at a 45-degree angle to increase the surface area and allow for greater water flow, this also stops the entire cut surface being blocked by the bottom of the vase. Some flowers, like roses, tend to get air bubbles stuck in their stems, blocking water flow; to prevent this issue, cut the flower stems underwater.
  4. Make sure the water is at the right temperature. Most flowers keep best in room-temperature water. Bulb flowers keep best in cool water or even cold water. Whether you’re using either cold or lukewarm water, fill your vase so it’s three-quarters full and keep topping it off as the flowers absorb more liquid.
  5. In hot weather you can cool the water with ice cubes and/or spray the flowers with water chilled in the fridge – the life of the flower is directly related to the temperature it is kept in.
  6. Provide acidic water. Cut flowers do best in slightly acidic water, ideally with a pH level between 3.5 and 5.0. You can add lemon juice to help this – just make sure you know the ph before adding lemon juice to already acidic water.
  7. Any leaves submerged underwater can rot and cause bacterial growth, so it’s important to regularly check your flowers and remove any underwater leaves.
  8. Maintain your flowers consistently. Replace dirty vase water with fresh water and clean your vase every day. Dirty water can lead to bacterial growth that will quickly bring on wilting.
  9. Re-cut your flower stems every two to three days to help them absorb water.
  10. Keep cut flowers out of harsh environments. Do not place your fresh flowers in direct sunlight, near hot appliances, or near gusts of air from fans, air conditioning, or open windows. Some flowers, like tulips, are particularly sensitive to heat.
  11. You should keep cut flowers away from fresh fruit, as it emits traces of ethylene gas that can speed up a flower’s wilting process (especially bananas).
  12. Nurture your flowers with a flower food packet. We sell pre-packaged mixtures of all the essential preservatives that help cut flowers last. Flower food packets contain a balanced blend of sugar to feed the flowers, acidifiers to control the pH of the water, and a biocide to eliminate harmful bacteria.
  13. Instead of buying flower food packets, you can make your own DIY formula. The most popular recipe is to fill your vase with three parts water, one part Sprite (for sugar), a couple of drops of lemon and a few drops of bleach to kill bacteria. Another common flower food recipe is to mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (for acid), two tablespoons of sugar, and half a teaspoon of bleach into a quart vase of water.
  14. Giving a little alcohol to your cut flowers can actually decelerate their aging process. The alcohol in vodka impedes flowers from producing ethylene gas, which causes flowers to wilt.
  15. Fresh-cut hyacinths, irises, and daffodils produce toxic chemicals that can kill other plants sharing the same water source. Keep these flowers in a separate container for a day before combining them with other flower types.

Learn More
We will soon be starting a ‘Florist Masterclass’ at the new shop. Follow us on Facebook to learn when it starts and to book a place. Free glass of bubbly and you get to take home the bouquet you create.