Flower Power: 3 Tips to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, wedding season, or simply a lovely bouquet to brighten up a space, here are our favorite, fast and easy tips for how to make cut flowers last longer.

  1. GET EDGEY: Before placing the flowers into water, cut the stems at an angle instead of directly across. The increased surface area will allow more uptake of water and nutrients.

cut flower stems at an angle


  1. THE SOLUTION IS PART OF THE SOLUTION: Add the little packet of nutrients that come with most bouquets (it’s basically sugar). NOTE: If you don’t have a little packet that came with your cut flowers – perhaps you picked your own bouquet – you can make your own. Mix into the vase water:
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (to reduce bacteria growth in the water)
    • 2 tablespoons sugar (to provide energy to the cut flowers)
  1. HIT REFRESH. Change the water (with fresh vinegar and sugar, if possible, and freshly cut stems) every few days.

OTHER IDEAS: Some say to add a copper penny and a cube of sugar to the vase water; that the copper in pennies is thought to act like an acidifier, which prevents the growth of bacteria. Other suggestions from Readers’ Digest include adding a few drops of vodka plus a teaspoon of sugar. They also tried aspirin!  What do you find works best to keep your flowers in tip top shape?

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8 replies
  1. Frank
    Frank says:

    Yet another use for apple cider vinegar! I’ve taking “shots” of it the last few days to help with a cold. Of course it helps flowers as well!

  2. Miles
    Miles says:

    I’ve been married for 30 years and didn’t know about cutting flower stems at an angle to improve surface area. Maybe our roses will last more than a week this year.

    • Meredith Sorensen
      Meredith Sorensen says:

      These tips will make cut flowers last “longer” — the baseline really depends on other factors including flower type, how fresh it is, the temperatures, etc.

  3. Simran Ahuja
    Simran Ahuja says:

    Thank you for the information. It is important to know how to re-grow the plants when you are growing it on garden balcony and this will actually help gardeners. A must information on how to cut flowers lasat longer.

  4. Bonilla Keith
    Bonilla Keith says:

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and helpful tips about how to make cut flowers last longer. I would like to add some more tips like use of filtered water, trim excess foliage, add bleach and sterilize the vase.

  5. Flower Delivery Glendale
    Flower Delivery Glendale says:

    Thanks for sharing this informative post. One thing I would like to recommend you that add a few drops of vodka (or any clear spirit) to the vase water for antibacterial action along with 1 teaspoon sugar. Change the water every other day, refreshing the vodka and sugar each time.


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