Tips & Tricks - Caring For Cut Flowers

Tips & Tricks - Caring For Cut Flowers


mixture of cut flowers in vases

I recently asked our Facebook fans for their tips on caring for cut flowers, we had a great response so I have put our fan tips together below. There were many people who use the same tips and tricks but as always everyone is different and the opinions differed.

One of our fans, Tanya Michell a previously qualified Florist gave us a great deal of tips. She said “there are a number of ways to keep your flowers longer...”

If given cut flowers and they are from the garden or a Florist arranged bouquet measure your bouquet to an adequate vase, fill it with room temp water and always, always remove foliage (leaves) that will be going into the water and cut all your stems on an angle so they can take up the water. When they arrive to you they are trying to preserve their lives by keeping the moisture in their stems and have naturally sealed the bottom of their stems to do so.

Each couple of days clean and replace water, making sure vase is clean from slime and free from soap as they don’t like soap, clean the stems from any foliage and rinse them clean and re cut stems on angles you will now get extra days from them and enjoy them longer.

Some flowers need to be separated from others and treated differently i.e. Stock needs to have stem smashed a bit so it takes on more water.

Sappy flowers like hyacinths need to be on their own.

Gerberas need non fluorited water (non-tap water) or water that has been distilled. TOP TIP: Water left in fridge for a week will do.

Roses need tender care, they love water and it will make them open heaps. Home grown have the best scent, so you can forgive them opening up too fast in a vase of water but it can cause them to get a droopy head. Florist flowers are commercially grown for vase life and colour but the scent has been bred out of them, so enjoy your beautiful garden roses.

TOP TIP: If you have been given roses and their little heads start to drop, it’s because between its head and stem it has sapped up all the moisture and hasn’t got a strong neck to support its head. A way to revive is to separate them from other flowers, clean their stems from leaves. Grab a bucket or vase that is taller than the head and stem of the rose, and fill with fresh tap water. Cut a strip of newspaper and wrap it around the head of the rose, secure with a piece of sticky tape. Cut stem on angle and submerge the rose up to its wrapped up head. Leave the roses this way for an hour or two or until you see an improvement and it can hold its head up unsupported. When it has regained its moisture in its stem and the head is holding up on its own you can then replace within your arrangement.

Thank you Tanya for such great detail.

Our other fans had a variety of tips and tricks that they use.

Everyone agreed that cutting the stems on an angle works well for them as well as removing all the leaves that are below the water line. Some fans suggested cutting the stems again when changing the water. Water change recommendations ranged from daily, every other day and every 3rd day.

We had a variety of suggestions of what to add to the water to make the flowers last longer with the majority of people opting for sugar. Other suggestions included:

  • Lemonade
  • Asprin
  • Bleach – apparently this makes roses smell really good and kills mould.
  • Domestos
  • Disprin
  • Panadol
  • Vanilla Essence
  • Plant Food

An interesting conversation emerged when one fan suggested adding sugar, another fan replied saying that this kills them. A third fan, Glenda Ewen said “Sugar does not kill flowers, though it does not benefit them either. I have been a florist since 1996 and always used flower food provided by wholesale flower sellers and clean bleached buckets. Water changed and stems trimmed every couple of days.”

It was recommended several times that displaying in a cool area that is out of direct sunlight and drafts was best so they do not get too hot or too dry.

Some other great tips included:

Leanne MaguireTell your kids when they buy flowers for your birthday to put them in water until they give them to you. A night in their wardrobe is not a good look in the morning.”

Margaret LeesMy mum told me to replace the vase water with fresh water every day. She tried the crystals, bleach, lemonade and aspirin tricks but swears by simply replacing the water fresh every day. And as we get older we learn "mums always right"

Dave N Robyn Fry “Not so much a tip for caring for them, but if your flowers are a bit too short for the vase, stick them in clear colourless straws them put them in the water.”

Robyn Palmer-Canak “For Roses place a penny in the bottom of the vase & this will stop the petals from dropping off too soon. My grandmothers tip & I have always done this.”

There were certainly several tips and tricks that I hadn’t heard of before but will be trying myself. Do you have any tips or tricks that weren’t mentioned above? Please do add them in the comments below.

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