The sight of a beautiful, carefully arranged bunch of freshly-bought flowers is one of life’s simple pleasures.

The right selection of floral gems will give your room (and your mood) an enormous lift, adding style, colour, scent and light to wherever they’re placed. Fresh cut flowers also make the ultimate in gifts, whether for your partner, a friend, neighbour or family member.

However, most flowers are delicate and need care to keep them at their best for long periods of time. So how do you keep them looking fresh and fantastic?

Here are nine quick tips that will give you a good start.

1. Cut the flowers.

One of your first tasks (when you get the flowers home) is to trim about 5cm from the base at an angle to expose the fresh stem. You should also remove any low foliage that may sit below the water line. Both of these actions will allow the flowers to absorb water more efficiently. Recutting the stems every two to three days will help the blooms stay fresher and last for a longer time.

2. Add preservative.

Add the sachet of preservative that is included with your bunch of flowers to help prolong their life and keep the water clean.

3. Use filtered water.

It’s common knowledge that you will need to change the water around every two days. However, did you know by adding filtered, rather than tap water, you may help to prolong the life of the flowers by removing many harmful additives?

4. Flowers (generally) don’t like heating.

Keep your flowers out of rooms with excessive heating. Too much warmth from indoor heaters will shorten their life. Cool areas, on the other hand, help to preserve most types of flowers. There are exceptions to this rule though, such as orchids and other tropical flowers which enjoy the heat.

5. Add apple cider vinegar.

Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of sugar and add it to the flowers’ water. This will help prolong their life by reducing the level of harmful bacteria in the water.

6. Add aspirin.

Like apple cider vinegar, aspirin added to the water will help preserve the flowers by helping to reduce the bacteria in the vase.

7. Add sugar.

Try simply adding one teaspoon of sugar to the water. The theory is that the sugar replicates the boost the plant receives during photosynthesis through the leaves. As the number of leaves is reduced during harvesting, the sugar helps replace that lost energy, effectively “feeding” the blooms.

8. Hair spray.

Perhaps you have guests arriving and haven’t time to run out and buy a new bunch of flowers for the lounge or kitchen? No matter, a standby fix to rejuvenate existing flowers is with a quick coat of hairspray.

9. Select hardy flowers.

However, despite all the tips and tricks to preserve your freshly-cut flowers, perhaps the best way to ensure a long-lasting and healthy vase of flowers is to buy ones that are hardy. Here native flowers such as waratahs, banksias, kangaroo paws, leucadendrons, Geraldton wax and even red flowering gum don’t just look amazing, but will last a long time as a cut flower. Related South African flowers such as proteas also have similar long-lasting properties. Other non-natives that have hardy appeal as well as lending themselves extremely well to floral displays include: daisies; hydrangeas; carnations; chrysanthemums, orchids, lisianthus and oriental lilies.

Always ask your florist which of the flowers they sell tend to last the longest. Choosing the right cut flowers, keeping the water clean and maintaining the right temperature are the keys to maintaining the freshness of flowers and prolonging their fantastic display.

What flowers do you find work well around the house and last a decent length of time? Share with us below.

Image source Shutterstock.

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  • I will try the apple cider and sugar trick next time I am lucky enough to get flowers.


  • I never knew about the apple cider vinegar.


  • I don’t put flowers in a vase. I have lots of flowers growing in my garden that give me great pleasure. Good tips to make cut flowers live longer tho


  • Thanks for the tips – knew some of them, but not all. My flowers might last longer than a couple of months if I try these tips. They are orchids freshly picked from my garden]


  • Lilies. I love having fresh flowers in my home every week. I buy lilies that are unopened and love watching them bloom over a week, at least. I add sugar, it was a tip someone told me and worked I also cut the fronds inside that drop that powdery residue that stains – I do it as soon as they are exposed.


  • Ah ,what a useful article. I didn’t know about the aspirin and vinegar.


  • I’d love to have tulips around the house all year long. It’s a pity it’s not possible.
    Kangaroo paws are really amazing.
    I knew the tip of the aspirin. I’m gonna try the one of the apple cider vinegar and sugar!!


  • We love the Lilly bunches from Aldi’s, $5 a bunch and they last for weeks.


  • Thanks for the tips. I love flowers but never seem to make them last. I’ll try sugar and aspirin next time.


  • Great tips, which I mostly follow already.
    Coming from the Netherlands myself I found too many flowers here not very fresh and are sometimes amazed that they dare to sell them !


  • Thank you for these great ideas to keeping them fresh longer there is nothing worse that getting a bunch and them only lasting a few days especially in summer.


  • Thanks for these tips for keeping fresh flowers.


  • I love flowers in the house and l always cut them,give them fresh water and avoid heating.There are alot of other great tips here! Thanks so much!


  • I just picked beautiful flowers from our garden, I’ll be able to use these tips, thanks!

    • What a beautiful flowers you have in your garden !!


  • Thanks for the tip on the apple cinder vinegar! Didn’t realise reducing the bacteria actually prolonged the flowers.


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