How to make flowers last longer!

We’re huge fans of having fresh flowers in the house whenever possible, even if they are just cuttings from the yard. Over the years we’ve tested so many methods for how to make cut flowers last longer and today I have the verdict on a few different theories!


  • Asprin
  • Bleach
  • 7-Up
  • Refrigerate
  • Flower Food Packet

First, when arranging flowers always remove any foliage below the water line to avoid bacteria buildup and give the stems a fresh cut at an angle at least 5cm above the bottom cut to optimize water intake. Change out the water every 2-3 days and keep away from direct sunlight and ripening fruit. (The ripening fruit emits a gas that can cause flowers to wilt faster, yay for science!)


Of all the methods I’ve tested, the clear winner, which you can probably guess by going into any floral shop, was refrigerating the bouquet overnight. It makes the blooms last way longer but if we’re honest, who has time or room in their fridge for that?? Maybe if I had a second refrigerator I could pull that one off routinely but I think for most of us it’s just not practical. So what are the next best options?

Thes best result I’ve found behind refrigerating my cut flowers is to add cooldrink to the vase. For a standard size vase, 1/4 cup of 7-Up or Sprite does the trick.

The aspirin, flower food and bleach did not seem to do much for my bouquets to extend their lives.

According to floriculturists, if the mixture of soda and water is in the correct proportion, a bouquet will remain bright, because the combination provides the flowers with the water and food they need. “The 7-Up formula works really well,” says Susan Han, a professor in the plant, soil and insect science department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Cut flowers, like those in a bouquet, are separated from their roots and no longer make food for themselves. Instead, their environment provides everything necessary to keep them fresh. Slightly acidic water travels up the stems to the flowers more rapidly than neutral or basic water, keeping the flowers hydrated and fresh. But in addition to water, plants need sugar for food.

This necessary combination of acidic water and sugar describes 7-Up or Sprite, says William Miller, a professor of horticulture at Cornell University. One can of either is loaded with citric acid that lowers the pH (increases the acidity) of the soda and contains about 38 grams of sugar. But, while water and sugar keep the flowers fresh, this mixture also encourages bacterial growth, which can harm the flowers. “So add bleach,” Han says. A little bleach kills the bacteria without damaging the flowers.


Adding the soda to the water along with keeping water fresh and trimming the stems every few days is my current method for making my cut flowers last longer.

Have you tried any other ways to make flowers last longer that I should give a go? Let me know in the comments below!