10 Hacks for Beautiful Flower Arrangements That Last

Make your cut flowers last longer, keep blooms from wilting, learn tricks and hacks for arranging flowers in a vase, and more with these ten tips for beautiful bouquets. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
April 25, 2016

Feed flowers vodka and sugar

Why You Should Cut Flowers' Stems

Every time you get a new bouquet of flowers, make sure to trim off the ends of the stems under water. Cutting the stems gets rid of any dead part of the flowers, while doing it underwater ensures that air bubbles won’t get caught in the stems while cutting. Without air bubbles, water travels up the stems more easily, keeping your bouquet fresher longer. Also make sure you remove any of the stem leaves that will be underwater in your vase. If left underwater, leaves rot quickly and give off an unpleasant odor.

When to Cut Flowers from Your Garden

If you’re cutting flowers from your garden, do it first thing in the morning. Flowers have more moisture then and will last longer if cut early in the day! Who knew?

How Often to Change Your Flowers' Water

To prolong the life of fresh flowers, change their water at least every few days (even every day if you have the time). For a homemade flower fertilizer, use a solution of 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar in a quart of water.

How to Make Beautiful Arrangements

Are you a flower-arranging novice? Take a look at this YouTube video. It doesn't have the best production values, but it's the best video we've found to explain the basics of how to arrange flowers in a vase.

Vase Too Big?

Is your bouquet spreading out too much in the vase? For a simple fix, just use a hair elastic to hold the stems together. If the opening of your vase is too large, make a grid by crisscrossing clear tape over the top. Then stick stems into the individual holes created by the tape. And finally, if you've accidentally cut your stems too short for your vase, cut a length of a straw and slip it over the end of the stem to artificially extend it!

Flower Water Hack

Now that you've perfectly arranged your flowers, water it without disturbing your design by filling a turkey baster with water, then slipping it between the stems. You can also dispose of old water first by sucking up the remaining water with the baster.

Keep Flowers Fresher Longer

To keep your flowers fresh for longer, add a capful of vodka (or another clear liquor) to the water and it will keep bacteria away from the cut stems. Add a pinch of sugar, too, and it will nourish the flowers as well as store-bought flower food!

How to Prevent Flowers from Wilting

To prevent your flowers from wilting, gently spray the undersides of petals and leaves with a little bit of hairspray. It really works!

Overnight Storage Secret

If you have room in your refrigerator, put it to good use by storing your vase of flowers inside each night when you go to sleep. The cool air will keep them lasting longer while you're not awake to enjoy them.

Transportation Trick

Taking a bouquet a long distance? To easily transport cut flowers, slip a balloon over the faucet and fill it with some water, then pull the opening over the stems of your flowers and secure with a rubber band. It’s an unmessy way to let them have a drink in transit.

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Photo by Who Knew?

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