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( Overview

Cut flowers add cheer and beauty to any room but can quickly wilt and turn sour. The short-lived gifts last longer if you put a little effort into their care and keeping. The fresher the flowers you start with, the longer they tend to last, which is why you should order your blooms from reputable florists, such as ProFlowers, that guarantee the quality of their flowers.

Step 1

Clean your vase thoroughly by filling it with water and bleach and letting it soak for about 30 minutes to kill any lingering bacteria. Rinse the vase out two or three times to clear it of any bleach residue before putting the cut flowers in.

Step 2

Cut the leaves off the portion of the stems that will be under water. Leaves are the biggest culprits for gathering bacteria. Cut the ends of the stems with a fresh cut just before you put them in the water. Hold the stems under a running tap as you make the slanted cut with a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears.

Step 3

Keep flowers in a cool location to stunt the growth of bacteria. Cut flowers prefer areas that stay about 60 degrees F.

Step 4

Change the water in the vase before it becomes cloudy. According to Illinois Country Living, by the time the water starts showing a little cloudiness, bacteria are already forming.

Step 5

Make a new cut in the ends of the stems every time you change the water. Put newly cut flowers back in a clean vase with fresh water. Step 6

Rinse the vase and scrub it out with bleach if you’ve waited too long to change the water. The bleach kills any lingering bacteria that cause flowers to wilt prematurely. Rinse the stems of the flowers thoroughly before putting them back in the clean water.


  • Bleach
  • Clean vase
  • Pruning shears
  • Preservative
  • Clear soda pop


Use the preservative that comes packed with many flowers to keep them fresh longer. If there is no preservative, add a few capfuls of a clear soda pop such as 7Up, Sprite or Sierra Mist. warnings

Keep flowers out of direct sunlight to help them last longer and open faster. Avoid freezing or letting them get frosted. Check the flowers for age before buying them. Look for brown or wilted edges. Flowers should stand straight up in the vase and not be droopy either. Old, diseased, damaged flowers have a shorter life expectancy.