How To Trim Flowers So That They Last Longer

So, you’ve just received the most beautiful bouquet of anniversary flowers, birthday flowers or even flowers for a simple thank you. What now? After thanking your significant other or friend and thinking about how lucky you are to have them in your life, it’s time to start thinking about to how to make those flowers last.

When it comes to dealing with fresh flowers, it’s important to get them into water as soon as possible. If your bouquet arrived in paper or cellophane, it’s a good idea to remove it – paper can bruise your flowers and plastic can make them sweat. Remove any elastic bands or string holding the bouquet together as well.

Now it’s time to start trimming. First, remove all foliage from the lower portion of the stems. Foliage kept below the water line in your vase will rot and pollute the water, increasing bacteria levels and causing your flowers to die quicker.

Next, cut each flower stem on an angle. This angled cut allows the flower access to more water. Once you have trimmed each stem, fill a plastic bucket about half full with warm water (flowers find it easier to take up warm water than cold). Place the flowers in the water and give each flower enough space to ‘breathe’.

Adding the magic ingredient

Once your flowers have had a nice long drink, it’s time to arrange them. First clean out your vase with hot soapy water to get rid of any microorganisms. Half fill the vase with water and add the magic ingredient – flower preservative. Flower preservatives destroy bacteria in the water, helping your flowers last longer and encouraging buds to open.

Use the included flower preservative or buy some from a garden centre or supermarket – or you could make your own. Try any of the following options (on their own, not at the same time!):

  • Crush a tablet of aspirin into your vase water and arrange your flowers. Add another crushed aspirin the following day.
  • Add about 1/4 cup of fizzy drink to your vase water, and the sugar should allow your blooms to last longer. Soda Water is best if you want clear water.
  • Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons sugar with your vase water. Change the water and add more vinegar and sugar every few days.

Try to spritz your flowers with water each day… and enjoy!

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