Fresh cut flower bouquets are a popular gift idea for many holidays and special events like Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter and weddings, as well as a way to brighten someone's day, tell them you love them, or accompany your birthday wishes.  However, have you ever enjoyed getting a bouquet of cut flowers only to find them wilting 24 hours later? Here are a few tips to help keep your flowers looking fresher longer.

  • Flower bouquets will last longer if you display them  away from direct sunlight and away from bowls of fruit.

If you do find your flowers are already starting to wilt, try these steps first before throwing them out:

  1. Begin by gently remove the entire bouquet from its vase. 
  2. Set the  flowers aside on a wet paper towel or put them stem down in the sink with cool water that reaches an inch from the bottom of the stems.
  3. Drain the vase and refill with warm water. Add 1/2 teaspon lemon juice and 2-3 teaspoons of sugar to the water mixture. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely. To prevent ants, make sure the sides and bottom of the vase are wiped clean. 
  4. Trim the ends of your flowers with a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen scissors, then rearrange them in the vase. You should see a noticeable improvement in any flowers in the arrangement that were looking wilted in 1-2 hrs. as they become revived. 
  5. Be sure to change out the water every 2-3 days to keep your flowers healthy and vibrant.
  6. Removing any of the leaves that are below the water line will also help to keep your bouquet looking vibrant longer (and helps to keep the water less cloudy.)

Not all varieties of flowers retain their freshness for the same amount of time. Here are a few varieties of flowers that are a bit hardier and will last longer once they've been cut and added to a floral arrangement:

  • Zinnias - they're a hardy, vibrant colored flower that will last on average 2-3 weeks in a vase.
  • Alstromeria - these tropical flowers do well in humid or coastal climates and are a fairly inexpensive selection.
  • Daisies - White and yellow flowers that are a colorful and popular choice for long-lasting bouquets.
  • Orchids - some varieties of these seemingly delicate flowers are actually quite hardy and will last in a cut flower bouquet for weeks.
  • Flower alternatives - greenery such as a stalk of bamboo or a large philadendron leaf can be a beautiful addition to any bouquet, and will in most cases last longer than the flower selections. A simple bouquet might also consist of a budding tree branch (try cherry or apple blossoms) along with a few stalks of greenery or wild grasses.