Looking for a way to make your flower bouquet to last longer? Freshly cut flowers don’t last forever and it’s perfectly normal to want to enjoy your flowers longer. Be it a bouquet sent by a loved one or freshly cut flowers you bought for yourself, read on to find out easy yet effective tips on how to keep your blooms looking fresh.

The truth about fresh flowers

Freshly cut flowers, like any other living thing, has a lifespan. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be a short one. We all understand the pain of spending a hefty sum on a beautiful bouquet of flowers, only to have it wilter within the next three days. However, did you know that you can extend your flower’s lifespan by taking proper care of your blooms?

Here at 24hrscityflorist.com would like to share with you our experience with handling, conditioning and keeping fresh cut flowers as long as possible especially in the tropical heat of Singapore. 24hrscityflorist.com provides fresh flower delivery together with same day flower bouquet delivery anywhere in Singapore.

First off, the type of flowers matter. Different types of freshly cut flowers have different lifespans. Here’s a list with their estimated lifespans.

cut flowers arrangement

Chrysanthemums

  • They can last up to 2-3 weeks

Traditional Lilies

  • Up to 2 weeks.

Roses

  • Up to 2 weeks with proper care

Orchids

  • Up to 3 weeks

Sunflowers

  • 1-2 weeks

Ranunculus

  • Approximately 7 days

Carnations

  • 2-3 weeks with proper care

Dahlias

  • Up to a week.

Hydrangeas

  • 2-3 days

Baby’s breath

  • 5-10 days

Some flowers last longer than others and inevitably if you get a flower bouquet, unless you specifically choose one that has the same type of flower, some would wilt faster than others. It would then take extra work to ensure the wilted flowers are taken out from the vase.

The beauty of a flower bouquet sometimes comes from the mixture of the various blooms, in its many shapes, sizes and colours. A colourful composition undoubtedly brightens up the room. However, this is subjective to one’s choice as single-flower bouquets also make for gorgeous displays as it brings about a sense of class and symmetry aesthetically. One thing is for sure, be it a multi-flower bouquet or one that is made out of the same type of flowers, there are proper steps to help your flowers last longer.

Tips on how to make your flowers last longer

We previously posted an article which contained the question of how to make your cut flowers last longer.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Cut flowers usually require a greater effort for care and maintenance, compared to uncut ones. There are various things that cut flowers require in order to maintain their colour and shape. First and foremost is water. Without an adequate supply of water, cut flowers will gradually perish. Next comes flower food. It usually comes in the form of packets which you can buy. A typical flower food usually contains acid, sugar and bleach. Each of these components has an important use. Acid maintains the pH level of the flower at an optimal level, sugar provides essential nutrients and bleach prevents the accumulation of bacteria. Other than that, cut flowers also require a cool environment and a place away from direct sunlight to thrive.

Moreover, you should re-cut stems regularly, to eliminate air bubbles in the stem tissue that can hinder water absorption. Leaves are also an important component of flowers and you should not neglect them. You should prune the leaves regularly to prevent any potential water contamination. Last but not least, cleanliness is of utmost importance. That is why you should wash the flower vase every 2 to 3 days and replace the existing water with fresh water. 

To make it more comprehensive, here’s a list of 8 easy and doable tips which you can use in your daily life to make your cut flowers last longer:

Tip #1 – Always use a clean vase

use a clean vase to keep fresh cut flowers

Reduce the risk of bacteria which may infect your flowers. As such, use clean vases to minimise the risk and to keep your flowers as fresh as possible. There’s a multitude of vase types, so choose one which best matches your interior décor and also, which fits your flowers. A container with a wide neck would be versatile enough to easily fit flower stems.

Keep flowers with different lengths of stems in separate containers, so that all flowers are clearly visible.

#Tip 2 – Use fresh tap water

use fresh tap water for fresh cut flowers

As the stems of flowers have been cut, they no longer have a life system. As such, you would need to ensure they have water. When cut flowers have been left out of water for any length of time, cells start to form over the cut ends of the stems, which will prevent the stems taking up water readily.

Avoid using cold water as flowers don’t take up cold water as quickly.

#Tip 3 – Add flower food with the right amount of water

flower food

Use pre-mixed flower food that comes in the little packet as it contains essential ingredients that flowers need; carbohydrates (sugars), biocides (cleansing agents) and acidifiers. These three ingredients promote cell metabolism, combat bacteria and adjust the pH of water to increase water uptake.

Florists would recommend adding a new packet to the vase each time the water is changed. These packets can easily be purchased at florists or home supply stores.

#Tip 4 – Remove leaves from the stem

removes leaves from being soaked in water

Too many leaves in the vase may rot and provide food for bacteria, which in turn can infect and damage the rest of the plant. Try your best to cut off any leaves touching the water to help prolong the life of your flower.

#Tip 5 – Cut 2-5cm off the stem and cut at an angle

cut stem at 45deg

Stems and stalks of flowers should be cut at a 45-degree angle. Cutting the stems at this angle, rather than straight across, allows for greater surface area and as such, an increased water uptake.

#Tip 6 – Keep flowers away from direct sunlight

keep flowers from direct sunlight

Once flowers are cut, exposure to direct sunlight accelerates the evaporation of the water and causes the flower to dry out faster and wither quickly. As such, make sure that they’re stored in room temperature. A side note: Keep them away from fresh fruit which releases tiny amounts of gas that can cut the lifespan of your blossoms.

#Tip 7 – Remove wilted or damaged flowers immediately

remove wilted flowers

Wilting flowers release ethylene gas which may cause a chain reaction in your other flowers. Do ensure that they’re taken out from the flower arrangement so as to keep the other flowers fresh. You can choose to dry them and make your own dried flower bouquet or dispose of them.

#Tip 8 – Do Not Spray water directly on buds or flowers

do not spray water directly onto flowers

As it may increase the chance of fungal growth, try to minimise spraying water directly on buds and flowers.

General rules:

Changing the water in the vase every 1-2 days before it gets cloudy would be ideal. Do remember to scrub the vase’s interior and ensure that there’s no bacteria left behind. At the same time, do trim the stems again and add a new mix of flower food to keep them fresh.

It may require some effort and work to repeat all these steps through the week(s) but the results are well worth it!

Some other innovative methods to keep your flowers fresh:

If you’re not free to run down to the florist or store to get flower food, you could also opt for these easily-available items which can be found at home to help you prolong the life of your cut flowers:

1. Vodka

Using a few drops of Vodka in the vase would help keep the water clean for fresh flowers. This is because it inhibits bacteria.

2. Lemonade

The sugar in the lemonade nourishes the plants and will make the blossoms last longer. If you’re using a clear vase, you can also use a clear lemonade (such as 7-up or sprite). Using actual sugar also works as well.

3. Pennies/coins

The copper in coins works as an acidifier and inhibits bacteria. Drop a copper coin in your vase!

4. Aspirin

Possibly the most popular out of these methods, many use aspirin to help prolong the lives of their freshly cut flowers. Simply put a crushed aspirin in the water before adding your water. Aspirin may lower the pH of the water and this will help keep your flowers looking fresh.

5. Put your blooms in the fridge

Pop your flowers and vase into the fridge at night and take them out in the morning. This is especially useful in a temperate country like Singapore.

Caring for your flowers

caring for flowers

Caring for freshly cut flowers can be demanding but as the saying goes, “nothing worth having comes easy”. Having freshly cut flowers around your house not only brightens up the room but studies have shown that it also uplift’s one’s mood and can positively affect one’s mental state of mind.

hydrangea flower bouquet

On a more practical level, flower bouquets are gorgeous and it does cost a sum of money to send fresh flower bouquets to your loved ones. Whilst it may be considered affordable to some, it would still be a shame to let the fresh blooms wilt quickly. The methods and tips mentioned above which help prolong the lifespan of your flowers are simple enough to be tried out at home – so why not make the most out of your blooms?

A little goes a long way. Do remember to take proper care of your cut flowers and you’ll be able to enjoy seeing them around for a longer period of time.

Written by: Elizabeth Tan

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