How to make flowers last longer & answers to all your floral FAQs

The perfect excuse to fill your home with blooms.
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There is nothing more lush than filling your home with fresh cut flowers. Whether they are from the florist or the garden, the ritual of gathering, arranging and displaying flowers is a form of self-care. When gifting flowers to someone special, it is a beautiful way of saying the most meaningful of phrases…’I love you’, ‘I’m sorry’, I’m thinking of you’.

The saddest part of having a home filled with flowers is when they start to wilt and need to be thrown away. In an attempt to get more out of your fresh cut flowers, we spoke to the team at Sydney-based florist Common Love to get their expert tips and tricks to making fresh cut flowers last longer.

How do you pick the best bunch of flowers?

When picking out flowers, there are a few factors to consider to ensure you pick the best and freshest bunches. These include:

  • Staying away from flowers that appear bruised or have a slightly burnt, outside foliage.
  • Selecting seasonal flowers will mean that it’s always fresher.
  • Choose from a local grower when possible as the freshest and best flowers are always the ones being grown across Australia.
Common Love
Selecting the perfect floral arrangement (Credit: @_commonlove_)

Are there particular types of flowers or greenery that just last longer?

Yes, there are a few types of flowers and greenery that last longer than others. These include Carnations, Lillies, Foliage, Magnolia, Orchids, Banksia, and Pom Pom Chrysanthemums. These flowers can last up to three weeks as long as correct care is taken such as changing the water every second day, fresh trimming the bottom of stems, keeping them out of direct sunlight, and in a cool ventilated room.

How long can cut flowers last in the bunch direct from the store?

The duration of how long flowers last when purchased direct from the store is dependent on multiple factors. At Common Love, we will always send our bouquets of flowers in wet wrapping and these will last for 3-5 hours depending on the environment you’re in keeping the flowers. We would also recommend putting your flowers in a clean vase as soon as possible, with fresh water and trimmed stems.

WATCH: Edwina Bartholomew’s daughter picks flowers

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What is the best way to store and display cut flowers for longevity?

To maximise the longevity of fresh flowers we would recommend first preparing your vase and making sure it’s clean of bacteria or residue that could harm the flower. Fill ¾ of the vase up with water and use a home remedy flower persevere or the packet provided to you by the florist. Next, clean the stems of the flowers, trim the end of the stems at a 45-degree angle, and always keep them in a cool environment, away from direct sunlight.

What are the biggest no no’s when it comes to keeping a flower arrangement at home?

Here are our biggest no no’s to avoid to make sure your flower arrangement lasts to their longest potential.

  • Putting the arrangement close to a kitchen, warm fire, heater, air conditioner, or in direct sunlight because warm winds and currents can accelerate the wilting and dehydration of the flowers.
  • Neglecting care for the flowers. This includes not changing out the vase regularly with fresh water as stagnant water can create an environment for bacteria to grow and harm the health of the flowers.
  • Another one is not cutting the flowers. The stems need to be cut every few days at a 45-degree angle to ensure it’s getting the maximum water absorption. At the end of the day, flowers are like humans and they like to be treated well too.
Common Love flower arrangement
So many things you can do to make sure your fresh cut flowers last (Credit: @_commonlove_)

Myth busting: Does putting vinegar and sugar in the flower vase work?

No myths! Vinegar and sugar are a natural remedy that actually works. Vinegar helps to keep the vase clean from any bacteria and residue that could harm the flower, whilst sugar provides a source of energy and stimulates the flowers. But generally, any type of antibacterial cleaning product will work. Lemonade is also a great alternative if you don’t have any flower food and can help with increasing the longevity of the flowers.

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