How to Extend the Lifespan of Cut Flowers and Bouquets

by Robert Canning on December 03, 2021

Flowers are some of the most beautiful creations on the planet. However, once they have been cut, it is inevitable for them to wilt very quickly. Fortunately, there is a way to prolong their freshness, even after they have been cut. 

By using a flower preservative, you can keep them fresh and attractive, as if they are still in their prime. If you want to know the secret behind the packets of flower preservatives used by shops, we have you covered. All you will need is a powdered mix of citric acid, sugar, and household bleach.

How Sugar, Citric Acid, and Bleach Work

Sugar serves as the primary source of nutrients for the flowers. Since these plants are in a vase and not in the soil, they need artificial food to continue blooming. Next, citric acid, which can be found in limes, oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, adds acidity to the mixture. Flowers submerged in low pH levels or high acidity stay colourful for a longer period. This is what you want to achieve.

Lastly, you will also need bleach. This ingredient is necessary to eliminate any bacteria and mould that want to make a home in your vase. Using bleach in your mix is vital because once you put the sugar in the water, these pesky killers will attempt to make their way into your flowers.

DIY Cut Flower Food Recipes

The main ingredients in flower preservatives, including water, are guaranteed to make your fresh blossoms last longer. As such, any DIY recipe for cut flower food needs to have a mixture of any of these everyday household items. 

Some of the effective and easy-to-make recipes you can use include the following:

Water and Citrus Soda

If you don’t have time in your busy schedule to make complicated concoctions for your flowers, this easy and quick recipe is the solution you need. All you have to do is create a half-and-half mixture of regular citrus soda, such as Sprite or Mountain Dew, and water. Put the solution in a clean vase.

The soda contains citrus juice, which will help maintain the low pH levels needed to maintain the blooms. Additionally, it has sugar, which will give the flowers the sustenance they need. Don’t forget to change the water-soda mixture in your vase every other day. After all, there is not enough acid in the beverage to keep all the bacteria and mould away.

Sugar, Lemon Juice, and Bleach

This solution is not as easy to make as the previous recipe, but it doesn’t take too long to mix, either. All you need to do is squeeze a lemon or buy pre-squeezed lemon juice. Pour around two tablespoons in your vase, then add a tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of household bleach. This ratio works with every quart of water.

When you use this recipe, you will only need to change the solution once every three days. After all, you have your handy household bleach killing off any unwanted bacteria.

Vinegar and Sugar

The last flower food recipe on the list is a simple mixture that only requires two ingredients. In a vase, combine two tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar with two tablespoons of sugar. Use this ratio for every quart of water. However, similar to the first recipe, you will need to change the solution every other day.


Flowers are meant to bloom and make any room look radiant. Although cut flowers are only meant to stay fresh for a specific period, you can extend their lifespan using homemade preservatives. With these recipes, you can expect your flowers to remain attractive for a longer time. If you want more tips on keeping your flowers as lovely as possible, consider reaching out to a floral shop you can trust.

Upscale and Posh is a British family-owned floral shop offering express flower delivery in Dubai and the UAE. Our handcrafted and styled bouquets are all made by our in-house florists. All of our flower arrangements in Dubai and UAE are guaranteed fresh. Order today!


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