How to Preserve your Fresh Cut Flowers

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Here are some tips for making your bouquet last longer:


1. Flowers always keep best when cut under running water with a sharp (un-serrated knife). Make the cut in the stem at a slant.

2. Before placing your flowers in a vase, be sure to remove any leaves that would be under water, but avoid removing any thorns (from Roses) as this shortens the life of your rose.

3. Prematurely Wilted roses are a result of air bubbles and/or bacteria. To prevent air-bubbles simply cut a new stem (under running water and at a slant).

4. Warm or Cold Water? Lukewarm is best for most cut flowers, but use Cold water for any flowers resulting from Bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, etc.

5. Think your cut flowers look nice on your table with your fruit bowl? Think again! Fruit releases a natural gas that will cause your flowers to “age” and thus die sooner.

6. Keep Away from Direct Sunlight

Have you ever Wondered what’s in those little packets of “Food” that the florist gives you?

Commercial Floral preservatives generally contain 3 basic components:

  • Biocide- chemicals to kill bacteria which often plug the stems ability to draw water
  • Acidifier– which helps the water move up the stem more quickly
  • Sugar– which acts as Food

If you prefer natural alternatives, try one of these methods:

  • 1 c. Lemon-Lime Soda to 3 c. Water + 1/4 tsp Bleach – to continue with this add 1/4 tsp bleach every 4 days
  • 2 T. Listerine per gallon of water
  • 2 T. Lemon Juice to 1 qt water, 1 T. Sugar & 1/2 tsp bleach
  • An Aspirin and an OLD Penny (Copper is a fungicide it helps block the growth of yeasts and fungi.)

Create your own Beautiful Flower & Vine Swags

If you’d like to preserve your flowers permanently- submerse them in a glycerin solution.

Mix the following

  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. glycerin

in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat 10 min & Cool.

Carefully cut each well-chosen branch at an angle (like you’d cut flowers) for easier absorption.

Place the cut flowers into the solution and allow to set for 7-10 days in a cool dark area, until all or most of the mixture has been absorbed.

(There will be beads of glycerin on the leaves). Carefully wipe each leaf with a damp washcloth or paper towel & then pat dry.

Arrange your Flowers into swags or Heavy Vases. These arrangements will last for years.

Flower Drying Formula

  • 10 parts white cornmeal
  • 3 parts borax

Mix together. Bury flowers in the mixture. Let set for 2 weeks, and the dried flowers will last for years. For clarification, a part can be any amount, 1 Tbs, 1 Cup, 1/4 Cup. So if you use tablespoons it would be 3 TBS Borax and 10 TBS Cornmeal. A Part is just a ratio measurement.

Other Options- Dip the flowers in Wax! complete tutorial here


© Can Stock Photo Inc. / fpdress

About Liss 4010 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.


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