Make a bouquet of cut flowers last longer

This week our Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn, shows us her simple secret for making a bouquet of cut flowers last way longer.  

Jill says that she has tried all the tricks. She’s tried putting a penny in the water, she’s tried putting an aspirin in the water, she’s tried using the flower food that comes with the flowers, she’s even tried putting a drop of bleach in the water.

Nothing has worked as well as the little trick that Jill recently discovered.

When a recently delivered bouquet of flowers turned the water green after a few days, Jill did the usual drill of emptying and rinsing out the vase and recutting the flower stems and refilling the vase with fresh cool water.  The next day, the water was green again. It was time to figure out another way, says Jill.

Sooo… she emptied the vase again, recut the stems again and this time, before she put it all back together, she sprayed the inside of the vase with simple household peroxide; the same peroxide that she uses to treat stains in the laundry and to clean numerous things around the house.

Then, she once again filled the vase with fresh cool water, BUT… before she put the flowers back in the vase, she thoroughly sprayed the stems with the peroxide, as well. She let them set for a few seconds before she put them back in the vase.

This time, the water lasted over a week and it never really got green again. The flowers continued to look great and finally faded before the water got bad. Was it a fluke? Jill had to try it again.

Fortunately, another bouquet showed up before too long. This time, Jill sprayed the clean vase with the peroxide before she filled it with cool water and sprayed the stems of the brand new bouquet, as well. As always, Jill had given the stems a fresh cut before putting them in the vase. Again, the bouquet lasted well over a week.

Jill says that the peroxide kills germs in the vase and on the stems that would encourage bacteria to grow in the water. The bacteria shortens the lifespan of the cut flowers. Plus, hydrogen peroxide has an extra oxygen molecule in it and that, in small amounts, is good for plants.

So now, Jill is hooked on caring for all bouquets this way.  After a bouquet has gone several days, she pulls the flowers from the vase, rinses out the vase, sprays the inside again with peroxide, recuts the flower stems, spray the stems with peroxide again and places them back in the vase filled with fresh cool water.  

Jill recommends even doing this for a brand new bouquet. She says that, even though it’s new to you, you don’t know how long the flowers were in water at the store or florist shop. It’s possible that they were sitting for a few days already. A fresh start never hurts, says Jill.

Jill says it is often shocking how long you can get a bouquet to last when you care for it this way.


To watch Jill take you through the process, just click on the video player above.