Gardening experts reveals how to make your cut flowers last longer

dinning room tabel with a colurful table cloth bowls cups and vases full of flowers on the table
7 cut flower care tipsHannah Deacon / House Beautiful

Freshly cut flowers can brighten up any room and provide you with a sweet-smelling natural aroma. However, if not cared for properly, they will die and decay before reaching their full potential.

'Cut flowers look beautiful in the home, they're great for adding extra colour and character into any room. They're also known to relieve anxiety and stress,' says Chris Bonnett, founder of Gardening Express, 'A lot of people aren't aware of how to care for their flowers properly which means they don't get to enjoy them for long enough.'

The way we cut the stems, the type of vase we choose and the temperature of the room, all makes a huge difference to the longevity of cut flowers. Follow these seven steps from the experts to make your cut flowers last longer.

1. Cut your flowers properly

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not cutting the stems properly. Make sure you have a sharp knife or secateurs and cut the stem at a 45 degree angle the first time you put the flowers in the vase, and each time you replace the water. This angle will provide the stem with the largest surface area possible, meaning it can absorb more water.

2. Choose the right vase

The right vase can determine how long your flowers stay fresh for, and choosing the right vase depends on the type of flowers you have. As a general rule, heavier flower arrangements should be kept in a short vase and should have short stems. This gives the flowers more room as they bloom. A lighter selection of flowers can be placed in a taller vase as they'll take up less room as they grow.

3. Use the flower food provided

Most cut flowers come with a packet of flower food which a lot of people tend to disregard. Fill up the vase and add the sachet into the water. If your flowers don't come with flower food, you can easily make your own at home. Mix together two tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of bleach for every litre of water. This will slow down bacteria growth and keep your flowers fresh for longer.

4. Keep the flowers away from heat

You may think placing cut flowers near sunlight is best for their growth, but actually, cut flowers thrive in a cooler environment. Avoid keeping them anywhere in your home that gets too warm and humid.

common farm flowers, somerset
Clive Nichols - Getty Images

5. Change the water every other day

Bacteria thrives in stale water so it's important to change the water every other day to keep it fresh, and in turn, get the most out of your flowers.

6. Don’t forget to wash the vase

Each time you change the water, you'll also want to give your vase a really good clean with warm soapy water. Give it a good rinse to ensure all the soapy residue is off before putting your flowers back in.

7. Clean up foliage below water level

It's important to keep the water in your vase clean, so you should remove any foliage that is on the stems below water level. Leaving foliage in the water could cause it to rot, which will harm your flowers.

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