Hacketts Florist & Gift Shop


Freshly Cut Flower Care Infographic showing how best to take care of your flowers at home.

Flower Care Infographic

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Bouquet of roses and hydrangeas

Caring for your flowers – Top Tips

Once you’ve got your flowers home there are a few simple things you can do to prolong their lifespan and keep them looking as fresh as possible by carrying out some basic flower care practises:

  • Trim your flower stems. Before putting your flowers into water trim approx. 2cm from each stem. Cut each stem at a 45-degree angle with a sharp pair of scissors. To allow flowers to drink as much as possible it is a good idea to recut the stems every 2 – 3 days.

  • Keep the water in your vase fresh and clean. Bacteria in the water is one of the biggest causes of wilting flowers. We recommend you clean the water in your vase every 2 – 3 days and pop a little flower food in each time.

  • Remove any foliage from the flower stems that sit below the water line.

  • Place your flowers in a cool, light location away from draughts, direct heat or sunlight and ripening fruit.

  • Remove wilting or dead flowers and any discoloured petals from your flowers and foliage to prevent bacteria from spreading to healthy flowers.

Follow these easy steps and your freshly cut flowers will last longer and look as fresh as possible!

The correct amount of water

Often overlooked as a key step in flower care, adding the right amount of water makes all the difference! This depends on the flowers in the vase or container. 

Soft-stemmed flowers such as gerberas and ranunculus prefer a lower water line than water-loving flowers such as hydrangeas.

For soft-stemmed flowers, fill the vase so the water line comes up to about a quarter of the way up the stem. For other flowers, fill the container a little more so it comes to at least halfway up the stem. 

Use room temperature water to avoid shocking the flowers and to allow them to drink at the optimal rate. 

Add a little flower food as this contains sugar (to feed the flowers), acid to maintain the pH of the water and bleach to keep bacteria at bay. 

Hydrangea tip: Many flowers also drink through their petals as well as their stems. If your hydrangeas look a little weary or go a little soft, submerging the head of the flower fully in cold water for a few hours can help bring it back to life. Spritzing the petals with water on a regular basis can also help them drink more.

Flower arrangement in a glass vase showing how much water to put in a vase full of freshly cut flowers.

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The importance of trimming stems

Once flowers have been picked the ends of the stems dry out therefore trimming the stems before they go in water helps the flower drink more.

It’s important to trim the stems with a pair of sharp scissors or a sharp knife to avoid crushing the stems, which prevents the flowers from drinking water efficiently.

It is best to trim approximately 2cms from each stem and cut at a 45-degree angle to allow a larger surface area for water absorption. Trim the flowers when you first get them home and every few days afterwards to allow better uptake of water.

Photo showing how to cut the stems of a bouquet of flowers to maximise water uptake.
Photo of a bouquet of flowers in a vase in a home to show where in the home is the best place to put freshly cut flowers to extend their life.

The best place to put my flowers at home to extend their life

Once you bring your freshly cut flowers home, you will probably be left wondering where you should place them to ensure they look fresh for as long as possible!

Cooler temperatures are generally better for extending the life of cut flowers in your home and to keep them from wilting. It is better to keep them away from extremes of temperature and avoid placing them in draughts, direct baking sunlight or near a radiator or fire. 

Contrary to popular belief, keeping them on a window sill at home is often not a good option for these reasons.

You should also avoid placing your flowers near fruit as some fruits give off gases that cause flowers to deteriorate quicker.

Rose tips: If you find that your roses have wilted, a top tip to revive them, is to trim a few centimetres from the bottom of the stem and then place the bottom of the stem into boiling water for a few minutes and then back into room temperature water. The same trick also works for hydrangeas and other woody stemmed florals.

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Let us know if you have any particular colour or style preferences and leave the rest to us.

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Photo of a hand-tied bouquet of flowers.

Top tips when caring for your hand-tied bouquets

Your hand-tied bouquet should be removed from the aqua pack, outer wrapping and box after 48 hours to help prolong the life of your flowers. 

You can still leave the flowers tied around the stems if you wish. This allows you to give the flowers some clean water to drink and helps air to circulate around the flower reducing the chance of bacterial or fungal infections.

Top tips when caring for your gift-wrapped bouquets

Since the flowers have been cut and out of water for a period of time the stems start to dry out. Therefore the most important thing when receiving a gift-wrapped bouquet is to make sure you re-cut the flower stems and place them in some clean water as soon as possible.

Top tips when caring for your arrangements in floral foam

When you receive an arrangement of flowers in floral foam you can keep the available water for the flowers to drink topped up by watering the foam and regular water spritzing of the flowers and foliage.

Ensure that the container (basket, pot, dish etc.) is watertight before you place your arrangement on any furniture that could be damaged by moisture. Alternatively, place the arrangement on something waterproof to protect surfaces.

Photo of a bouquet of flowers, gift wrapped,
Photo of a flower arrangement in a glass vase showing the best place to put fresh flowers in your home to make them last for longer.

Top tips when caring for your vases of flowers

To prevent the growth and spread of bacteria to your flowers in a vase, make sure that you keep your vase clean by cleaning it out with hot soapy water and by adding the flower food which contains a small amount of bleach. 

Food for flowers that you put in vases contains bleach to help reduce the amount of bad bacteria. It is beneficial to clean the water and the vase every few days.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Flower Care

Should you put sugar in flower water?

Putting sugar in flower water can help to nourish the flowers and prolong their life. However, it is better to use the flower food provided with your flowers, as this contains feed, ingredients to maintain the perfect water pH and also a small amount of bleach to reduce the growth of bacteria in the water.

How do I choose a vase?

When choosing a vase, consider the size and shape of the flowers you want to display and the location you want to put your flowers. Make sure the vase is clean and fill it with fresh water before adding the flowers. You can also add flower food to help them last longer.

Can I keep flowers in their gift bag/hat box?

It is not recommended to keep flowers in their gift bag or hat box for an extended period of time. The water in the aqua bubble can become stagnant and the perfect breeding ground for bacteria which reduces the life of your flowers.It is best to transfer them to a vase with fresh water to keep them hydrated and looking their best.

How do I care for my roses?

To care for roses, trim the stems at an angle and remove any leaves that will be submerged in water. Change the water every few days and re-trim the stems to help them last longer.

What to put in flower water

When preparing flower water, you can add flower food provided with the flowers or a homemade mixture of sugar, vinegar, and a little bleach to help nourish the flowers and prevent bacteria growth.

Which flowers last the longest in a vase?

Some flowers that last the longest in a vase include lilies, carnations, alstroemeria and chrysanthemums. These flowers are known for their longevity and can brighten up your home for a longer period of time.