Simple Ways To Extend The Life Of Your Store Bought Flowers

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arrangement of flowers and decor on coffee table

A simple way to spruce up any space is with an arrangement of eye-catching flowers – but when they wilt too quickly, they become an eyesore. Reader Kristin has some easy and effective ways to keep bouquets looking fresh!

holding fresh cut flower stems

I LOVE fresh cut flowers! They make my home feel so warm and welcoming. But if you don’t take care of them, it can be a real spendy habit. I use to just unwrap them, dump the packet in the vase, and leave them be. Usually, they wouldn’t even make it a week, but my mom, who is a florist, taught me a few tricks to keep those fresh cut flowers looking beautiful, longer.

1. After purchasing, remove all leaves from the lower part of the stem. If they submerge in the water, they will mold and kill the flowers quickly.

2. Cut your stems at an angle. This allows for more water to get to the flower.

close up of fresh water in flower vase

3. Change the water every day (or at least every other day) as slimy, moldy water kills plants quickly.

4. Also, rinse the stems to remove the slime build up.

5. Every couple days, recut the bottoms (at an angle) to allow more water to reach the flower.

arrangement of flowers in vase

Follow these tips and you’ll have your flowers lasting for weeks. I purchased these flowers at Costco two weeks ago, and they still look fresh!

Gorgeous! 💐

We love these simple tips that not only extend the life of beautiful tabletop decor but make our dollars go further as well!

Thank you, Kristin, for sharing your life-extending floral tips.


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About the writer:

Emily obtained her Bachelor's degrees from Clarkson University with 5 years of content writing experience specializing in health, beauty, fashion, home, & living frugally.

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Comments 26

  1. Auntie

    I must say that I follow these same instructions (except rinsing the stems) for my own personal flowers and especially coworkers who neglect their special deliveries. They have no idea how to care for their flowers. I take it upon myself to care for their flowers anonymously if I see neglect. Recently one arrangement lasted THREE weeks because of very basic care I provided. Thanks

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How sweet! You’re very welcome! Good to know these tips have worked so well on the flowers you have cared for, Auntie! Thanks a bunch for taking a moment to comment!

    • Bunny

      Auntie you are very thoughtful and caring to do that! I hope your coworkers realize what a gem you are 💕💕

  2. Deb

    Another tip I learned it from someone is to put a drop or two of the Young living oil purification in a vase with the flowers. I did it on my last bunch of peonies and they lasted 10 days!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks, Deb! That’s a good one to remember!

    • Julie

      My last bunch of peonies have lasted going on 8 days, possibly 15 days, since I got them on a prior Thursday, and I’ve only changed the water once or twice, when I re-cut the stems.

      Cool air and not direct sunlight helps too.

  3. amy

    Yes!! These tips really make a difference and the flowers shown ( name escapes me) in the post are a favorite of mine because they are budget friendly, easily found at local markets/trader Joe’s, they fill a vase so nicely and last a long time! Plus, a variety of colors are usually available. I buy them for myself about once a month because I love fresh flowers and I swear it gives me a pick me up just seeing them in my house!

    • becky


    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      I like the look of fresh flowers too, Amy! They sure do brighten a room!

    • Veronica

      They’re Alstroemeria flowers, one of my favorites!

  4. Michelle

    Thanks for the tips. My fresh flowers don’t last as long as I need them too. I bought some two days and some of them are already dying. I think not removing leaves from stems and not rinsing them off.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re welcome, Michelle! Hope these tips help!

  5. Lase

    Love this. I buy my flowers from Lidl for $3.99 but don’t do this. I just top the water when it gets low and it lasts a good 2 weeks.

  6. Kriz

    Another tip a florist friend recommended is to put a penny in the vase. The copper in pennies is thought to act like an acidifier, which prevents the growth of bacteria

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh! That is interesting – I’m going to personally try that! Thanks, Kriz!

  7. R

    Does Sprite really work for anyone? Lots of Google hits say it does, but I swear when I tried it this week for the first time, it accelerated the decline of my birthday flowers (hydrangeas, sunflowers, and carnations). Really bummed. Does room temperature matter? I live in Fl and house is always 77-78.

  8. Shannon

    What can I add to the water after I’ve used the initial packet of flower food and dumped the water out after a day or two? Is there something special? I’m always hesitant to dump the water because I don’t want to dump the packet contents with it!

    • Kristin

      I wouldn’t worry about the flower food! I use it the first couple days and don’t add anything after and the flowers do fine!

    • Amber

      Splash of vodka. It really works.

    • Jen

      I’ve been taught to mix 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp vinegar.

    • Julie

      You could only use 1/2 of the packet at first, and then use the other 1/2 later

  9. Olgraygirl

    Beautiful!! I, too, did not know about rinsing the stems. And a reminder never hurts–thanks so much.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome!

  10. Jenn

    Off to cut my stems and change my water on my hydrangea bouquet on my table. 😂 Thanks! Hydrangea last a long time, but they may last even longer if I remember to change the water. I knew to cut at an angle and to remove the stems, but reminders are always good.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Yay! You’re welcome, Jenn! Enjoy your flowers!

  11. suez

    a little bit of bleach in the water really helps!! No yucky algea!!

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