6 easy hacks to make your fresh flowers last longer

24 November 2017 - 10:00 By Tiana Cline
Heat makes flowers wilt, so it's a good idea to keep them out of direct sunlight.
Heat makes flowers wilt, so it's a good idea to keep them out of direct sunlight.
Image: 123RF/ehaurylik

Filling a house with bouquets of flowers sounds beautiful in concept, but when they start to fall over (or even worse, smell), it can be a real let-down.

It’s unfortunate, but cut flowers can’t last forever. Luckily, there are some ways to keep flowers alive for longer – flower hacks, if you will.

Here are some of our favourites:

1. TRIM, AND TRIM AGAIN

Always try to cut stems at a 45-degree angle; this will increase the surface area for water intake, so your blooms stay well-hydrated.

Just keep in mind that it only takes a few seconds for a stem to dry up, so if you’re changing water, trim and trim again.

2. TOP UP THE WATER

Water is key to plant survival (well, anything survival, really), so you need to check your flowers daily, as some drink up their dose more quickly than others. Also, the more flowers in the arrangement, the more water you’ll need.

Water quality does matter. Some flowers which are more delicate survive better with filtered water.

3. KEEP THEM OUT THE SUN

Clean water and a clean vase will definitely keep cut flowers happy, but also consider their location. Heat makes flowers wilt, so direct sunlight isn’t always a good idea.

4. FEED THEM

And you know those sachets of flower food which come taped to the side of bouquets? You can easily make your own using lemon juice, bleach and sugar.

6. POP COPPER COINS IN YOUR VASE

Have you ever seen vases with coins in the bottom? Copper is another time-borrower, because it works as an acidifier, helping to prevent fungus and bacteria from growing. (Other things we’ve seen going into flower water include Panado, mouthwash and even soda water!)

5. PEP THEM UP WITH SOME VODKA 

Another fun flower-feeding tip involves vodka! After filling a vase with water, add a few drops of vodka and some white sugar to stop wilting in its tracks.

Flowers already starting to die? Add a shot of vodka to the water and the stems will stand up straight again for a few more days. 


This article is adapted from one published on the South African Homeowner website. Visit sahomeowner.co.za for loads of decorating inspiration and tips.


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