A Complete Guide for Caring for Fresh Flowers

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Fresh flowers are a beautiful complement to any space, and whether you’re the sender or receiver of these beautiful blooms, you want them to last as long as possible.

A woman in a denim jacket trims the stems of a bright bouquet of sunflowers and pink flowers with scissors, focusing on the fresh, beautiful blooms.

Your florist will always use the freshest flowers for your bouquet or arrangement, but there are simple things you can do to care for your flower fresh. Here are some simple ways you can keep your flowers fresh.

How to Keep Flowers Fresh

Check on them:

Most people take their bouquet, snip the ends, place it in water and leave it, but it’s essential to check on your flowers daily. If your bouquet comes with flower food, add that to the water when you first place the bouquet in a vase. If there’s no flower food with your arrangement, you can add a little lemon juice and sugar to your water to help keep your flowers looking great. A few drops of vodka or bleach combined with sugar also act as a preservative if you don’t have lemon juice on hand.

Check the water daily to ensure the level is sufficient and look for any floating debris. Also, check for cloudiness. If the water is cloudy, that’s a sign your flowers need fresh water. If stems or leaves are floating in the water, change it to prevent the growth of bacteria. Clean the container when you change the water. This also helps remove any bacteria and helps prolong the life of your blooms. Use room temperature water to refill your container.

Flowers wilt at varying intervals. When you check on your arrangement, remove any dead or dying blooms to preserve the look and life of the other flowers.

Recut stems:

Every few days, cut ¾ to an inch off the stems of your blooms. Use a sharp knife or floral scissors to cut the stem at an angle. This helps the flowers take up water. To keep the arrangement in place without disrupting any blooms, tie the bouquet together with twine above the vase’s edge before removing them.

Choose a cool spot:

Most cut flowers prefer temperatures between 65-72 degrees. They’ll last longer if they’re displayed away from direct sunlight and away from heating and cooling vents and ceiling fans. Also, don’t put your blooms on the counter near fresh fruit, as the ethylene gas from the fruit can cause your flowers to age prematurely.

Be aware of heat:

Though it might look nice, avoid putting your bouquet or arrangement on a windowsill that receives direct sunlight. The direct sunlight can cause your beautiful flowers to wilt. Similarly, don’t place your fresh flowers on top of a cable box, television, or other electronic that gets warm. How to Keep Flowers Fresh: By Flower Type Now, let’s look at what you can do to keep specific flowers happy.

Spray roses:

These tinier roses typically have a vase life of 5-7 days. They like temperatures of around 70 degrees. If you’re given spray roses in a growing pot and not as part of an arrangement, place them in a sunny area. If your spray roses are cut and part of an arrangement, follow the lighting and temperature guidelines above.


With proper care, lilies last 7-10 days in a vase. These fragrant blooms are toxic to cats, so place them somewhere your furry family members can’t reach. Lilies bruise easily, so handle them with care as you’re changing water, snipping stems, or removing dead buds.


Carnations can last 7-14 days with proper care. If you’ve got carnations in your arrangement, keep them away from fruits or other flowers that produce ethylene gas. When you recut the stems, cut above one of the nodes. This will help the flower take up more water.

Gerbera Daisies:

These bright flowers are associated with joy and happiness and can last between 7-14 days. Follow the usual flower care tips, but keep in mind that these daisies can be thirstier than other blooms, so check your arrangement’s water level more often. Also, be sure to keep them clear of any other produce that creates ethylene gas.


Change the water every 2 to 3 days when caring for daffodils. These yellow blooms fare better in shallower water, so keep this in mind when filling your vase. Daffodil stems release a sap that can affect the life of other flowers when cut. If you have an arrangement from a florist that contains daffodils, the florist will likely have taken steps to prevent this. If you’re adding daffodils to an arrangement, place the cut stems in a bucket of water for at least 12 hours before adding them with other flowers.


For longer flower life, remove any dead petals on the outside of your roses (these are called guard petals) and make sure no leaves rest in the water of your vase.

Roses last longer in cooler environments, so try to keep temperatures below 80 degrees.


Tulips tend to twist their stems toward the sun. To avoid your tulips all bending in one direction, rotate your vase once a day. If your tulips are closed, you can add warm water to the vase to encourage opening.

Whether your fresh flowers are in a bouquet or an arrangement, following the tips above can help them last longer and stay healthier.

Most cut flowers prefer temperatures between 65-72 degrees. They’ll last longer if they’re displayed away from direct sunlight and away from heating and cooling vents and ceiling fans.

A vibrant bunch of pink and purple tulips arranged in a clear glass vase on a kitchen countertop, with a sunlit window and blurred greenery in the background.