5 Ways to Help Cut Flowers Last Longer

A fresh flower arrangement can put some pep in your step and add a pop of color to your living and work spaces. But as beauty is fleeting, the brightness flowers bring can sometimes seem to disappear in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re the recipient of a fresh flower arrangement (lucky you!) or simply enjoy treating yourself to a fragrant bouquet, here are five ways to get the most life out of your cut flowers.

1. Start with a hearty flower. While you won’t have a say in the matter if your flowers are a gift, if splurging for yourself, opt for a heartier flower variety. Roses, hydrangeas, and Stargazer lilies typically outlive more delicate flowers. Ask your florist for a recommendation, and steer clear of any flowers with bruised or browned petals.

2. Add Aspirin to the water. Not just an old wives’ tale, this tip actually works! Simply add one crushed Aspirin tablet to the vase water. Salicylic acid in the Aspirin helps to keep bacteria at bay. Alternatively, you can add a small amount of bleach to your water (about 1/4 tsp. per quart of water).

3. Snip the stems. Before you plop your flowers into a clean vase, use sharp, clean garden clippers or a florist’s knife to cut 1-2 inches from the bottom of each stem. Cut at a 45 degree angle to allow for more surface area for water to be absorbed.

4. Remove any foliage below the water line. Don’t forget to strip each stem of errant foliage. Any leaves below the vase’s water line will decay, adding flower-killing bacteria to the water.

5. Change the water daily. It's crucial that the flowers receive fresh, clean water every day. Swap out the water daily, and recut the flowers’ stems if you have a moment.

· Living Well: 10 Secrets for Extending the Life of Fresh Flowers [Design Mom]
· 4 Simple and Natural Ways to Help Cut Flowers Last Longer [Apartment Therapy]
· Keep Fresh Flowers Lasting Longer with Crushed Aspirin [Lifehacker]