10 top tips for extending the life of cut flowers

  • 19 March 2018

Written by Grace Hoskins (Yachting Pages)  | With thanks to Maud, Création Florale


Freshly cut flowers can help to brighten up any room and add life and colour to your home and yacht. However, as we all know, keeping them as fresh as a daisy isn’t always the easiest to achieve, particularly when out at sea for a stretch of time.

Fresh Flowers

Here are some hints, tips and tricks advised by professionals within the floristry industry on how to extend the life of cut flowers:

1. Keep them cool

Give the flowers some extra cooling during the night by popping them in an air-conditioned room, or by putting ice cubes in the vase. This will help them stay fresher for longer.

2. Thirsty flowers, are dead flowers

Always cut the stem at an angle, a pretty well-known fact, however to help the flowers last longer, repeat this step every few days. This will help them to absorb as much water as possible. Remember not to use scissors, instead use a knife to avoid damaging the stems.

3. Preserve them

Just as it preserves intricate hairdos, hair spray also preserves cut flowers. Simply stand a foot away from the bouquet and give them a quick spray, just on the undersides of the leaves and petals.

4. Sugar, oh honey honey

When there are children on the superyacht or in the home, fizzy pop is a given. Don’t throw away those last few drops of soda. Pour about 1/4 cup into the water in a vase of cut flowers. The sugar in the soda will make the blossoms last longer.

5. A teaspoon of vodka helps the medicine go down

One word: vodka. The secret to keeping cut flowers looking good for as long as possible is to minimise the growth of bacteria in the water. Add a few drops of vodka and 1 teaspoon of sugar for the best results.

Création Florale

6. Avoid chilly drafts

Always, always remember to keep flowers away from drafts, including fans because this will loosen petals, however direct sunlight will cause them to wilt!

7. Don’t gas your flowers!

Keep cut fresh flowers away from fruit and other plants. Flora can give off the gas ethylene, which can cause premature wilting. This also includes removing dead buds daily from the existing bouquet.

8. Fresh water

Be sure to change the water every two days. It is always better to put the flowers in warm water, as lukewarm water contains less oxygen than cold water. This will also help to reduce the air bubbles likely to form in the stem’s network of vessels, blocking or limiting the flowers water uptake.

9. Fight bacteria

It may be a bit of a strange one, however Listerine mouthwash is another commonly used method to keep flowers fresh. The antibacterial formula will help to reduce the bacteria in the water the way it kills plaque and halitosis.

10. Last but not least.

Finally, as Maud at Création Florale said, “always work with professionals.” Going professional will help ensure the flowers are in a healthy state to begin with. No one wants to spend a small fortune on beautiful flowers which are only going to last a day.