How to Preserve Cut Flowers

fresh-cut pink flower arrangement in a glass vase, set on a kitchen table.

Fresh-cut flowers are lovely, especially when you know how to preserve them! Imagine if your beautiful flower arrangements could last longer. No one likes throwing fresh flowers in the trash after just a few days! The good news is that there are a few tricks to keeping flowers fresh for longer. Keep reading to learn how to preserve cut flowers with a few ingredients you might already have on hand! 

How to Preserve Cut Flowers and Reduce Bacterial Growth 

Preserving cut flowers starts with two goals: 

  1. Giving the flowers nutrients 
  2. Reducing mold and bacteria growth 

Next time you have a flower arrangement that you want to keep alive for as long as possible, try this recipe! You’ll need: 

  • Distilled water (enough to fill your vase) 
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar (white or apple cider) 
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil 


Fill your vase with the distilled water and mix in the sugar, vinegar, and tea tree oil until the sugar dissolves. Add your flowers! Change the solution every few days for a fresh mixture. 

Using distilled water instead of tap water helps keep contaminants out of your flower arrangement and prevents bacterial and fungal growth. Distilled water also doesn’t contain chlorine, which can be toxic to plants! The sugar provides nutrition to your flowers, it’s a natural alternative to “flower food” packets. The vinegar discourages bacterial growth by lowering the pH in the water and making the water more acidic. The tea tree oil is a powerful antimicrobial agent which fights the growth of bacteria and fungus – two of the main reasons that flower arrangements decay quickly. 

Other Tips to Help Preserve Cut Flowers: 

  • Cut flower stems at an angle before arranging. This helps the flowers absorb more nutrients. 
  • Keep your flower arrangements out of direct sunlight. Too much sun can speed up the decaying process. 
  • Cut the stems about an inch shorter each time you replace the water mixture. This helps the flowers continue getting the nutrients they need.
Previous Article Next Article

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published