Boone’s Tips: Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

by | Mar 24, 2021

“These flowers are a symbol of my love for you,” he said, presenting me with the gorgeous bouquet for our anniversary.

“You are so sweet,” I replied. Let’s hope your love for me doesn’t die out in two days like these flowers will, I thought. I was determined to not analyze that statement too deeply. I was further determined to enjoy this bouquet for as long as possible.

Like many people, I love getting flowers! Cut flowers add a thoughtful touch to holidays and special occasions. A nice flower arrangement spruces up a space, adding freshness and a sweet scent.


Everyone wants to maximize the amount of time a fresh bouquet can be enjoyed.

While cut flowers will inevitably wilt, it doesn’t mean you can’t extend the vase life of your bouquet!

Here are 5 tips for keeping your cut flowers fresh:

  • Cut the stem ends: You can do this before putting your flowers in a vase, or while they are submerged in water. The air that has been absorbed into the ends while the bouquet was out of the water can block water absorption. Cutting off the ends helps ensure that your flowers access to nutrients is maximized. You can also cut the ends at an angle to increase the surface area for water absorption.

  • Keep the vase and water clean: Give your vase a quick rinse before putting in your flowers. This can help discourage bacterial growth. Watch the water in the vase. Add water as needed. If you notice the water getting cloudy, change out the water. You can even do another quick trim of the stems while you’re at it. Again this helps enhance the flowers’ access to water and nutrients.

  • Cut off flowers and leaves below the level of the water: Leaves and other outcroppings below the level of the vase’s water can rot. This adds more bacteria to the mix and can decrease the life of your bouquet.

  • Use a little plant “food”: What comes in that mystery packet that came attached to your bouquet? If your flowers came with a little packet of plant food attached, it can contain one or all of three components. 1. Sugar. This can offer the flowers with some nutrients to prolong life. 2. Citric acid. A little acidity helps to neutralize the alkaline water solution and can increase the flower’s absorption of nutrients. 3. An Antibacterial. As mentioned before, some bacteria can be harmful to the life of your flowers. The antibacterial component of plant food can help to slow the bacterial growth in the water.

  • Store in a cool and humid spot (away from fruit): Avoid putting your flowers in hot areas where they can dry out. Near that heating vent? No way! Plants need moisture. Avoid putting the flowers in direct sunlight. So, that one window with no curtain that faces the rising sun? Probably not the best spot. If you have fruit bowl on the kitchen counter, you may want to move your flowers to a different room. Fruit releases ethylene gas into the atmosphere that can make your flowers die off faster.

I smiled, gathering my symbol of love, snipping off the ends of my beautiful bouquet. Perfect. Then I moved that bowl of fruit into the kitchen. (Can’t be too careful!) I knew it was the thought that counted, but I also knew I had the knowledge to keep these blooms around for a bit.

Enjoy the moment. Smell the roses for longer!

Original Arrangement from Boone’s Blooms

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