How To Make Flower Food at Home To Keep Your Blooms Fresh Longer

And it only requires three ingredients.

<p>VICUSCHKA/Getty Images</p>

VICUSCHKA/Getty Images

It’s always a shame when a pricey bouquet of flowers expires sooner than you expected, especially if you’ve taken all the right steps to preserve its freshness, like trimming stems and replenishing the water. There’s one extra step you could be taking though to really extend the lifespan of your blooms, and that’s introducing flower food to your vase.

Fortunately, while flower food can be bought, you can easily make your own with supplies you probably already have on-hand. We tapped a gardening expert, who shared what the formula is for a solid homemade flower food recipe and tips for keeping those blooms looking fresh for way longer.

Related: 30 Fragrant Flowers That Make a Garden or Arrangement Smell Amazing

Does Flower Food Really Work?

Paris Lalicata, The Sill’s plant expert, says flower food absolutely works. According to her, “Flower food will help increase water uptake due to the sugars that provide energy—this encourages them to drink more.”

It’ll also help to reduce bacterial growth, keeping the water clean. Too much bacteria can inhibit water intake and encourage rotting. Lalicata adds, “The essential nutrients flower food provides will also help to extend the life of the flowers so they stay fresh and vibrant for longer. “

Common Ingredients for Homemade Flower Food

According to Lalicata, “Store-bought flower food typically contains a combination of ingredients including sugar, citric acid, bactericides, chelating ingredients and acidifiers.” If you don't have access to commercial flower food, you can make your own DIY floral preservative using common household ingredients.

She says that a simple homemade solution may include a mixture of water, sugar, and a small amount of bleach or lemon juice to provide nutrients and inhibit bacterial growth. Lalicata admits the DIY version has its limitations, but they can still be effective: “While homemade solutions may not be as effective as commercial flower food, they can still help extend the life of cut flowers to some extent.”

Homemade Flower Food Recipe

Get ready for the easiest recipe ever. This simple flower food recipe just needs three ingredients: 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sugar mixed into a large vase of water. That’s it!


In a pinch, bleach can act as a preservative. Add just a few drops to a vase to inhibit bacterial growth.

Other Tips for Extending Your Flowers’ Lifespan

Lalicata suggested trying these other tips to keep petals vibrant.

  • Trim stems at an angle.

  • Change the water regularly, ideally every day.

  • Add fresh flower food to your vase every two to three days. (If using prepackaged, follow the directions on the packet.)

  • Keep flowers out of direct sunlight or drafts.

Related: These 6 Cut Flowers Last the Longest

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