Bloom Longevity: Which Flowers Last the Longest

During the winter months, many of us start to miss our flowers, whether we’re longtime gardeners or simply appreciate blooms. Many people who’ve never tried serious gardening start each spring with the goal of planting several flowers to brighten their yards, homes, and lives. However, figuring out which blooms will last the longest can be tricky for any gardener. Climate, unexpected weather changes, insects, and other factors can all influence a flower’s life span. Today, we’ll look at a few types of flowers guaranteed to last several months, giving you plenty of time to enjoy them.



Zinnias are often found in the Southwestern United States and Mexico. There are over 20 species of zinnias available, all able to weather hot, arid climates if cared for properly. They can come in singular colors or bicolor varieties, including yellow, red, white, purple, coral, or a combination of these. In a recent study, zinnias were found to last twenty-four days after cutting if water was changed every two days. Zinnias are popular with butterflies, so consider planting them if you enjoy butterfly-watching. Zinnias also attract hummingbirds and can protect the garden against whiteflies.


Orchids have an impressive life span and can last up to three weeks in a vase. Gardeners value them because they are especially beautiful and fragrant. In fact, one branch of the orchid family contains the vanilla plant. The orchid family encompasses 6-11% of all seed plants and has a huge, varied number of species.

At least 26 orchid varieties can be found in North America. Their colors and fragrances are myriad. Purple or white orchids are probably the most well-known but they also come in pink or orange. Colors depend on the species of orchid most common to your area. White is the most common color because it’s easiest for nocturnal pollinating insects to spot and feed from.


Carnations can last 2-3 weeks if you are careful to change water frequently and remove any petals or leaves that drop below water level in your vase. The carnation is one of the most popular floral species in America. They come in hundreds of colors; pink is the most well-known, but red, purple, and white are also highly valued. Many gardeners believe carnations are a great choice if you’re on a budget. Most grocery stores sell bunches of these blooms for low prices, and because they last so long, gardeners don’t feel they’re throwing money away. Carnations are valued for their layered, ruffled appearance and are commonly used for corsages, wedding bouquets, and more.


If it’s difficult to wait for spring, consider chrysanthemums to grace your table or window boxes. Chrysanthemums are a hardy fall flower that usually bloom from September-November and can last up to 30 days after cutting with careful monitoring. Chrysanthemums are generally thought of as orange or yellow flowers but can also be found in white, cream, purple, and bicolor combinations.

Chrysanthemums come in several varieties including Ruby Mound, Perry’s Peach, Sea Urchin, and Cottage Apricot. The Cottage Apricot, with its single orange flower, may be the most recognized. Sea Urchin is named for its spidery appearance and boasts double yellow flowers. If you want red chrysanthemums, you’ll need to wait for late fall or early winter to get Ruby Mound, which has strikingly red double blossoms.

Chrysanthemums have a strong smell that may become offensive or irritate allergies. They’re also great additions to your garden but may attract more bees, so wear extra protection when tending them outside.


Also known as birds of paradise, strelitizias are a tropical species that can last up to two weeks. They’re so named because they look like birds perching on branches while opening their plumage. Birds of paradise are perennials, living for about two years at a time. This plant began its history in South Africa, where it was named for the birthplace of the United Kingdom’s Queen Charlotte, the duchy of Mecklenberg-Strelitz. It is now the official flower of Los Angeles.

Birds of paradise do best in warm climates. They can be deadheaded or pruned gently without much trouble, but repotting or dividing them may affect blooming times. Their flowers are mostly white, with their most vibrant colors coming from their stalks. The strelitizia’s stalk is made from blue and orange petal-like leaves that thrive because of the plant’s leather-like consistency.


Limonium is known as a “filler flower,” but don’t let that deter you from putting it in your garden. Limoniums are generally hardy flowers that can last up to two weeks after cutting. They come in several colors such as pink, white, lavender, and an eye-catching royal blue. As the name suggests (“lemon”), limonium may give off a sour smell, which can be prevented by putting bleach in your vase’s water before placing the flowers inside. Also, be aware that limoniums look thirsty and droopy at first. Proper care will perk them up in no time.

Photo Credit:

Photographer Skeeze offered the photograph of Zinnias under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Kincse j offered the photograph of Chrysanthemum under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer ADD offered the photograph of Strelitzia under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Hans Braxmeier offered the photograph of Limonium under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay