I’m proud to say, I think I figured out how to make fresh flowers last longer. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve seen me share my bi-weekly flowers on Stories. I typically order 2 floral arrangements for my formal dining room, one for our kitchen/breakfast area and another for the master bathroom. It makes me so happy. And honestly it makes our home look so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. (Honestly, if you’ve never placed fresh flowers in your bathroom – it’s a gamechanger.) 

PHOTOGRAPHY // Erica J. Simmons
DRESS // SHOES (similar) // NECKLACE

When I was in my early 20’s I remember saying to myself, “when I make it, I’m going to buy flowers for myself every week.” “Making it” is relative, but I’m so grateful I can buy myself beautiful arrangements every two weeks because they last so long. 

Listen, even before I had the budget to buy arrangements for the house consistently, I would spend $30 at the grocery store on hydrangeas, tulips or whatever seasonal flower that I thought looked pretty for my dining room table. It did wonders. Here’s what made a huge difference in that instance – having the right vase. I would often buy too many flowers and try to shove them in one small or medium sized vase. I think anyone who loves fresh flowers in their home should own a small, medium and large glass vase for fresh flowers. (Sharing my favorite vases from Amazon for fresh flowers here.)

I don’t have a green thumb by any means, however I do love flowers and arrangements can start to add up so I wanted to learn how to make them last longer. I did a fairly ok job in the beginning, but after reading, asking those who work at the floral shop I order from and good ole trial & error, I think I have found what works. Here’s how I make fresh flowers last longer.

When I spoke to the delivery girl who drops my flowers off every other week, I asked her what she thinks the secret is. Up front, she mentioned that people often make the mistake of changing their flower water too soon. If you order an arrangement from a florist, you’re usually getting very new flowers in very cold and fresh water. The goal should be to top your arrangement off day to day with more cold, fresh water. You can do this until 5 to 7 days and then you’ll need to finally change the water out. But usually your florist will set you up for success. I found this to be true. I once changed the water out the 2nd day and my flowers started dying faster than when I left it alone for the first week. 

After the first 5-7 days, you’ll want to change the water out. The key to keeping your flowers alive is to make sure the fresh stays fresh with no bacteria. This is why cutting the stems is key, because old stems have bacteria and will contaminate the water. When you cut the stems, you should always cut it at an angle so your flowers can “drink” an ample amount of water. I also recommend using COLD (not cool) water for best results. In the summer, my cold water can run more cool than cold and so I’ll add ice cubes to make it cold.

Because the goal in keeping fresh flowers alive is making sure the water is clean, you want to eliminate any dying (or wilted) flowers. This is hard for me, because then in my mind the arrangement is “incomplete” but the key here is to rearrange the flowers so it looks full and complete. Doing this is huge and gives the remaining flowers a better chance of lasting longer.

Listen there are a slew of hacks and tricks to use in water if you want to know how to make fresh flowers last longer. I’ve heard everything from adding sugar, bleach or even a penny to keep the water clean. Without asking, nothing has worked better for me than that little flower food packet that comes with grocery store flowers. I always have 2 or 3 packets of it in my junk drawer and when I add it to the water it’s like I’ve given my flowers 9 more lives. It’s great. My floral shop also shared that it’s one of their best secrets as well. 

If you’ve been considering buying yourself flowers – do it. It makes for a beautiful addition to your home and you deserve. To make your flowers last longer, try any of the 4 techniques I shared, and let me know how it works out on Instagram.