The Family Home Blog

How to Make Flowers Last Longer Inside

Jul 19, 2016
Diane Hoffmaster

One of the most beautiful things about summer is the gorgeous colors that pop out in nature.  Trees, bushes and gardens abound with brightly colored flowers during the warm summer months. While these colors look gorgeous in our yards, it is also nice to bring that color inside occasionally.

orange flower

Of course, keeping flowers alive longer is important if you want to get maximum enjoyment from them once they are in your house. There are a few things we can do to encourage long life once the blooms have been brought inside. Here are a few tips that might help:

Cut on a diagonal: Whether you are cutting fresh flowers from a bush or trimming store bought flowers, use sharp scissors to cut the stem at a diagonal rather than straight across. By cutting diagonally using a sharp utensil, you will minimize damage to the stem while allowing the follower to absorb the most water.

Get them in warm water quickly: The longer flowers are without water, the faster they will die. You do not want to put freshly cut flowers into ice cold water. Flowers that you bring in from outside have been nice and warm for quite some time, so put them into water that is at least room temperature or just a bit warmer for maximum survival time.

Let them rest: When bringing in fresh flowers from outside or after receiving them as a gift, we often want to spend time arranging them right away. Instead of playing with them immediately, let them sit in water for a few hours to acclimate to their new surroundings and give them time for a nice, long drink. Once they have settled in for a few hours, then you can start arranging them in your vase.

Remove foliage below the water line: Allowing extra leaves to sit in water will only encourage bacterial growth. Once the flowers have settled in your vase for a few hours, pluck off the lower leaves and buds for a longer shelf life.

Don't overcrowd them: Leaving a bit of extra space in between blooms will allow for better air flow. When air flows well, bacteria and mold are less likely to take over.

Watch where you put them: Plants need sun when they are in your back yard growing.  However, direct sunlight will cause your cut blooms to fade, encourage bacterial and mold growth, and speed up the dying process. Place your vase of cut flowers in an area that does not get direct sunlight.

Keep the water fresh: In order to cut back on bacterial and mold growth, change the water every 2 to 3 days. Always use water that is at room temperature so that you don't shock them.

Feed your blooms: You can use a commercial flower food in the water to help blooms last longer. Or, add one tablet of aspirin to a vase full of water and allow it to dissolve before adding flowers. This will help limit bacterial and mold growth and act as a natural preservative.

Choose a potted plant instead: Since potted plants still have their roots, they will provide you with much longer lasting color than cut flowers. Feed your potted plants with an all-purpose plant food and pick off dead buds whenever you see them. Water as needed, and enjoy colorful blooms all summer!

Do you enjoy bringing flowers inside?

Photo courtesy of Diane Hoffmaster.

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