A bouquet of flowers can freshen up any space and breathe life into a room. Usually, they last around a week. But using the right tricks, you can double or even triple that time period. Whether they’re a gift or you love taking trips to your local florist, seeing this bright and aromatic home decor addition can lift your mood in an instant. The only downside is its small lifespan, which you always wish would last just a little longer.
So how do you get the best bang for your buck and stop your bloom from wilting too quickly? When you first get your flowers, there are several hacks you can do to keep those plants happy.
- Cut your stems and change your water
This is the most important step. Before placing your flowers in water, cut approximately an inch or two off the end of every stem. While garden shears are preferable, you can accomplish this with a sharpened knife or regular household scissors. Maintain by repeating this action every few days, and every time you do, change the water.
- Remove leaves below water line
Otherwise known as pruning your leaves, this step is essential for preventing the growth of bacteria. On a daily basis, remove dead petals and leaves – especially in bouquets with different kinds of flowers that experience different blooming stages.
- Pick your vase accordingly
You would think that any flower with long stems belongs in a tall vase, but in fact, larger and weightier blooms should actually be cut short and placed in a low vase, which provides more support and space to spread when the flowers open up. Delicate flowers that weigh less should go in a taller vase.
- Avoid high and low temps, and fruit
Keeping flowers out of direct sunlight will help them laster longer, along with keeping them away from appliances such as air conditioners, stoves, TV, or microwaves. And even though your flowers might look lovely next to your fruit bowl, the reality is that the fruit releases small amounts of gas that can kill your bouquet kicker.
How to choose flowers that last longer
Unfortunately, the most attractive and alluring flowers don’t always live the longest, simply due to the fact that buying a full bloom means that their lifespan is already cut short. That’s why we suggest looking for a bouquet that has the most closed petals, which will ensure a longer life. Another pro tip: tropical flowers often last longer.
In terms of add-ons that you may not have in your home, flower food is a popular solution to increase longevity, but there are also some other household ingredients to keep around that can make your arrangement flourish like never before. If you’re looking for further information on flower care, we rounded up the best DIY hacks to extending the shelf life of your flowers, and all the products you need to accomplish them.
1. Chrysal Flower Food – 100 Packets
Chrysal has been the leading brand in flower food for years, and has been proven to extend the life of a bloom by up to 80% compared to just water alone. This flower food comes with 100 easy-to-use single-serve packets that make your blossoms smell and look better. One user suggests adding a little bit of cheap vodka whenever you use this powder mix, which can help minimize bacteria growth and preserve flowers.
2. Floralife Crystal Clear Cut Flower Food – 200 Packets
Floral Supply provides 200 powdered packets of flower food for under $20, making this a useful bulk buy for amateur plant lovers. Reviewers note that the difference is noticeable over time, and when compared to blooms with no crystals, the result is impressive. Users note that the packets are smaller than alternatives like Chrysal and they sometimes have to use two, but this works for people who have single flowers or smaller bouquets, allowing for easier customization.
3. Cute Farms Gentle Plant Food Concentrate
If you don’t like the idea of packets or find them wasteful, consider this eco-friendly pump bottle of gentle plant food concentrate by Cute Farms that requires no mixing, unlike powders. Along with saving on materials, the pump dispenser makes it easy to measure a precise amount of solution. Just a few pumps can keep your bloom fresher for longer. One reviewer claims that it made her tulips (notoriously fast-dying flowers) last up to two weeks.
4. Floralife Crystal Clear Liquid Flower Food, 1 Gallon
If you go through bouquets quickly or having several arrangements around the house at all times, you may want to invest in this Crystal Clear bulk buy, which comes in liquid form, in a 1-gallon container. The lack of a pump makes it easy to customize amounts more easily. Floralife’s product enhances colors and lifetime while keeping your stems hydrated. Useful if you don’t like ordering multiple shipments over the course of the year.
5. Clorox Bleach
While you shouldn’t be dousing your plants in bleach, freshly cut flowers can benefit from 1/4 teaspoon of bleach mixed into the vase water. This prevents cloudiness and bacteria growth in the water, which are both culprits that cause flowers to die off. Bleach is also a common cleaning agent around your home and many of us already have it under our kitchen sink, so it’s helpful to know about this surprising gardening hack.
6. Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people know that just adding a teaspoon of sugar to your flowers can help feed them and make them thrive. But what you may not know is that combining that sugar with apple cider vinegar creates a foolproof, health-enhancing flower food. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with the same amount of sugar, mixing it in your vase water. Then, add the flowers. Make sure to this solution every few days.
7. Bayer Extra Strength Aspirin
Oddly enough, this common headache reliever can do more than soothe your aches – Aspirin pills can soothe your flowers too! Even though tap water helps your flowers survive, it can also carry bacteria that does the opposite. In order to combat this, crush up a tablet of aspirin, adding it to your vase water. The salicylic acid in its formula fight bacteria, keeping your arrangement as radiant as possible.
8. Burke Decor Hold Adjustable Vase
Instead of keeping a bunch of space-consuming vases of different heights around the house, consider this minimalist alternative. Burke Decor’s stylish (and storage-friendly) adjustable vase allows you to alter its height according to how tall or short your flowers are. Constructed from gilded steel and glass, and designed by Pascal Charmolu, this popular vase is frequently sold out on other retailers’ sites, so get your hands on it while you can.
9. Simply All-Natural Lemonade
We’ve already established that acid and sugar work great to preserve flowers, so it makes sense that our favorite childhood summer drink would also get the job done. According to multiple sources, lemonade is the best way to keep your flowers fresh and healthy, even compared to bleach and some other homemade remedies. Instead of wasting time and resources by making your own, keep a bottle of this in the fridge. Just be sure to dilute it with water before you soak your stems.