How to make cut flowers last longer: Five hacks to prolong cut blooms

Interflora provides advice on making flowers last longer

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Spring flowers can instantly breathe new life into your property, but the vibrant petals can quickly fade without the right nutrients. Once the stems are cut, your fresh garden bouquet is already on the way out, making flower food essential to prolong the life of your seasonal blooms. While commercial flower food is a go-to remedy for wilting petals, there are a number of household products that you can use instead. reveals the five hacks you should know.

How to make cut flowers last longer

Most flower food packets are made of just three simple ingredients and can be easily replicated at home.

Sugar, citric acid and bleach are mixed together to provide a balancing liquid for fresh flowers, with each ingredient serving a different purpose.

Sweet sugar provides the flowers with nutrients, the acid maintains a steady pH level in the water, and bleach reduces lingering bacteria and fungi.

These key ingredients can make blooms last for more than seven days, rather than a measly three days without the right food.

While you could just mix your own flower food replica, Nick Drewe at WeThrift has revealed five everyday ingredients that work on their own – and you probably already have them in your home.


Just a few drops of this strong-smelling spirit could be the key to prolonging your freshly cut flowers.

When added to the water in your vase, the high-alcohol content works to inhibit ethylene production.

Nick said: “As a ripening gas, ethylene aids the maturation process of your plants and slows down the wilting of flowers.

“Alcohol is also an antibacterial agent, which further makes the spirit a rejuvenating drink for your flowers.”

To substitute flower food for straight vodka, use a teaspoon to add a few drops of vodka into your flower vase.


This sweet fizzy drink is the perfect substitute for the standard citric acid, bleach and sugar mixture used to make flower food.

If you don’t have lemonade, try other citrus-flavoured sodas to give your blooms a boost.

According to Nick, lemonade works so well to prolong cut flowers because the drink makes the water in your vase more acidic.

When the water is more acidic, it travels up the stem of the plant more quickly, offering a consistent flow of nutrients.

To enjoy the sweet-smelling benefits of this refreshing drink, add 60ml of lemonade to the vase and top with water until it is filled just below the leaves on the stem of your plant.

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Apple cider vinegar and sugar

Apple cider vinegar is a sour ingredient enjoyed by many for its unique health benefits, and it turns out it could be equally as promising for your flowers.

Simply combine two tablespoons of undiluted apple cider vinegar to a jug and dissolve two teaspoons of sugar into the liquid.

Pour into an empty vase and top up with water before adding in your freshly cut flowers.

Nick said: “Adding apple cider vinegar and sugar to your flowers is just as effective as adding store-bought flower food to your vase.

“This is because the vinegar acts as an antibacterial agent while the sugar acts as additional flower food.”

Copper Penny

This super cheap hack will cost you just one penny – but make sure you are using copper.

This simple trick is as simple as dropping one copper penny into your full vase to extend the life of the flowers.

Dropping a penny into the middle of your vase works wonders because copper is a fungicide and naturally kills bacteria growth in your flower arrangement, said Nick.

In as little as two days, you should see a visible difference in the appearance of both the petals and stems.

The fridge

The cool temperature of your fridge provides the perfect environment for prolonging a fresh bouquet.

Clear a space in the side shelf of your fridge to stand your full vase in.

Chill the bouquet overnight to slow down the ageing process of your flowers in order to delay the wilting process.

Nick added: “In addition to all these great hacks, make sure you also follow the typical flower care tips to keep your petals thriving.

“This includes cutting the stems and pruning the leaves before you put them into the vase for the first time, watering them every two to three days, and keeping them away from direct sunlight, heat, drafts and fruits.”

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