How to Keep Fresh Cut Flowers from Wilting

June 20, 2014 / Blooms Today

How many different “tricks” have you heard regarding how to keep your cut flowers from wilting prematurely? A quick online search will uncover some great ideas, but how do you know which ones actually work? This blog will take some of the tips found around the internet and put them to the test.





  • Put a penny in the bottom of the vase. This trick should work because copper is a natural fungicide. However, the problem is that even though copper is a natural fungicide, the amount of copper that actually gets absorbed into the water over a week or two is probably not enough to serve the correct purpose.
  • Add an Aspirin to the water. The idea is that a crushed up tablet of aspirin dissolved into the vase water can mimic the effects of flower food. This works by increasing the acidity of the water and also acting as a bactericide. Whether this actually works or not has yet to be determined as some studies have had a positive effect, while others have not.
  • Change the water every few days. Flowers drink a lot of water. Flowers are also highly susceptible to bacteria that builds up as stems sit in the water. Changing the water in the vase every few days will help keep your flowers fresh longer.
  • Use flower food. Adding the packet of chemicals that comes with a lot of fresh flowers seems like the best way to keep flowers alive for longer. The chemicals in these packets contain both a bactericide and nutrients. The problem with this seemingly obvious trick, however, is that if the flower packet and water are not mixed in the proper proportions, it can actually increase the bacteria counts.
  • tulip-14696_640Keep flowers away from heat. Heat from a stove or vent, and even bright sunlight through a window tends to “mature” flowers faster. To keep cut flowers looking healthy for longer, try keeping them in a cool, dark spot.
  • Add soda to the vase water. This theory states that if you mix soda with the water in your flower’s vase, the blooms will last longer.  While there can be a little truth to the fact that high sugar content could keep the flowers “nourished” longer, there is a specific formula that one should follow in order for it to work.  According to Susan Han, a professor in the plant, soil and insect science department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a three-to-one ratio of water to soda and just a few drops of bleach to prevent bacteria from forming should work really well.
  • Use hair spray to keep flowers looking new. A spritz of hair spray can help hold your flowers firm and prevent them from wilting for a few days longer. Be aware that you must stand about a foot away and spray quickly. Also reapply now and then to keep the firmness.

Photo Credit:

Photographer PublicDomainPictures offered the photograph of Flower under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay.

Photographer PublicDomainPictures offered the photograph of Tulip under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply