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Making Fresh Flowers Last Longer

Making Fresh Flowers Last Longer

Q. When I get flowers from a florist, they include a little packet of powder that makes them last and look good for so very long. Surely there’s a simple answer to this. Does anyone else in this frugal community know how to make your own powder? I like to gather wildflowers and would like for them to last longer. Thanks! Dee W

Aspirin is supposed to extend the life of cut flowers – Robert

I used to be a professional floral designer. The packet of powder that comes with fresh flowers is basically just sugar. There is no evidence that this powder keeps flowers any fresher. It is supposed to kept the bacteria count in the water low. I reccomend to keep flowers fresher longer is to change the water everyday. This helps to keep the bacteria low. – Valerie

In place of the florist floral life extender packet, an aspirin, (not ibuprofin), works just a well. Aspirin seems to lengthen the life of the flowers. Just be sure to snip a bit off the ends of the flowers each day. The stems seal themselves, reducing the water flow to theflowers. – Maria


I find that a pinch of sugar in the water seems to work quite well. The sugar will nourish the flowers just as long as the commercial preservatives work. – Heather

If you put an aspirin in the water with the flowers it does the same thing as the packet from the florist. Faye

I use cheap vodka. I read this hint somewhere long ago (could have been online) and tried it; works wonders! It especially makes cut roses smell wonderful as they bloom. also, regular bleach will do the same thing, but with a faint bleach odor. I have no measurements; I just put "some" in the water. They both work because they kill bacteria in the water that would clog the stems otherwise. – TAW

Use sugar or a sugar substitute. This should increase the life of your cut flowers. Also cut them in the morning while the dew is still on them. – CSinbad

Add a little clorox, or 2 bayer aspirin, or just use 7-up instead of water! – Brian and Melissa

If you will crush an aspirin and place the powder in the water, you will get the same result as the florist package provides.

To make your fresh flowers last longer, even longer than with those little packets that sometimes come with them, add about 1/3 Sprite or 7-up to 2/3 water. They last almost twice as long. Angie

2 thoughts on “Making Fresh Flowers Last Longer”

  1. Those “flower food” packets have two primary functions: providing sugar and bacteriacide.
    Adding sugar alone will significantly increase bacteria growth. Using a bacteriacide (like bleach) alone will not maintain the flowers.

    Keep your wildflowers longer by:
    1) changing the water and re-clipping the ends of stems every day or as frequently as possible
    2) Add a small amount of 7-Up, lemon or lime juice or a sugared alcohol. These options all have both sugar and the acidity necessary to keep fresher flowers!

  2. 1,000 mL water
    10 mL lemon juice
    5 mL sugar
    5 mL bleach

    1. “Wash” the vase in dilute bleach (no soap)
    2. Prepare the above solution and fill the vase
      with it
    3. Fill a small bucket with regular water
    4. For each flower, dunk its stem in the
      (bucket) water and while it’s in there
      diagonally cut an inch from the bottom
      of the stem, then immediately transfer
      it to the vase containing the prepared

    And if you really want to maximize their life, repeat steps 3 and 4 every day.

    What about aspirin, which isn’t mentioned here but which you’ve seen in other recipes for homemade flower preservative? The lemon juice in this recipe accomplishes the same thing, so it’s either/or, not both. Their purpose is to slightly lower the pH of the water, rendering it slightly acidic, which promotes better capillary action (the flowers “drink” better). I would stick to the 10 mL lemon juice.

    Finally, what about vodka, which you may have also heard about as part of the recipe? The bleach in this recipe does the same thing, so again, either/or, not both. In this case the purpose is to stave off bacteria, which would otherwise be drawn to the sugar, and wind up clogging the stems even faster.

    Now if you say you don’t get it again, I’ll punch you in the nose. ?

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