Keep your vase full of cut flowers looking gorgeous for longer.

There's nothing like a vase of fresh flowers to breathe life into a room. However, as soon as those flowers start to wither, a wilting bouquet can make a whole space feel dingey. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to prolong the life of your stems. Follow these tips for your freshest flowers yet.

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Start with a Clean Vase

To keep an arrangement fresh and attractive, you should first clean your vase to eliminate harmful bacteria. Scrub it with a mixture of one part bleach to ten parts water, then rinse thoroughly.

Condition Your Flowers

If you're buying flowers from a shop, the florist should have conditioned them for you. But whenever you pick flowers from your garden or buy a growers' bunch at a farm stand, follow these simple steps to keep them in good shape for a week or longer.

First, cut all green and woody stems at a 45-degree angle. This prevents the stems from sitting flat in the bottom of the vase and creates a large surface area, ensuring maximum water absorption. Use clippers or shears for woody stems and sharp scissors or knives for other flowers. If possible, cut stems under water. Remove any leaves that would otherwise sit under the waterline in the vase. Leaves rot when submerged, encouraging algae and bacteria in the container and shortening the life of your blooms.

Feed Your Flowers

For cut flowers to survive, they need sugar for nourishment and an acidic ingredient, such as aspirin, to help them absorb water. Cut-flower food provides all the nutrition stems need, but you can also use this formula: For every quart of water, add two aspirins, a teaspoon of sugar, and a few drops of bleach (to reduce bacteria).

Refresh the Water

Thirsty flowers are dead flowers. Check the water level frequently to make sure stem ends are generously covered. Every five days, change the water completely and recut the stems using the method described above.


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