The feeling of receiving a beautiful, fresh bouquet of flowers is one of the most uplifting feelings. Inhaling the scent and noticing the textures and colors is really fun. So of course, once you’ve arranged your stems in a vase at home, you’ll want to make sure they last as long as possible.
There are lots of things you can do to keep your flowers fresh in the vase. Many of us have heard of putting a coin in water, or even a small drop of household bleach. But as a flower designer, the most important piece of advice I can give you is to simply refresh the water regularly.
Ideally, you should change the water in your flower vase every two days to ensure maximum cleanliness in your chosen vessel, and optimal freshness for your flowers.
I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step, and reveal some other helpful tips along the way.
Expert advice on how often to change the water in a flower pot
Follow these steps every couple of days when changing the water in your vase, and your flowers will reward you by staying fresher longer.
- Remove your bouquet from the vase. You can gently place the stems on a table or sideboard. If they are arranged perfectly and you don’t want to risk moving them too much, either hold the bouquet in one hand, or place another empty vase to the side and temporarily place your stems in it to stabilize it.
- Pour out the water and slightly wipe the inside of the vase with a soft, damp cloth to remove any accumulated bacteria or dirt from the stems.
- Refill the vase with clean fresh water until it is at least two-thirds full.
- Take your scissors—these Sakagen flower scissors from Amazon are perfect for this task—in one hand and your bouquet in the other, and carefully snip a half-inch off the end of each stem on a diagonal. This is a very important step. Every time you take a stem out of water, the end will close itself in order to trap moisture in the stem and continue nourishing the flower head. If you return it to water without cutting off the stem end, it will have difficulty absorbing water and this will be detrimental to the health and longevity of the flower. It is also necessary because it removes the ends that have begun to soften in the water, thus avoiding bacteria from entering the vase.
- If you have woody stems in your bouquet, such as lilac, viburnum, or rose branches, you can also make a small vertical cut to increase the surface area of the cut stem and encourage greater water absorption.
- Place your stems back into your vase, adjust the design until you’re happy with it, and continue to enjoy it for many days to come.
If you leave your vase for a few more days, don’t panic. Just change the water as soon as possible. Never let the water in the vase become cloudy, as this is a sign that bacteria is starting to build up and your stems are decomposing.
LRNCE Rio painted clay vase
LRNCE is based in Marrakesh, where patterns such as the “Rio” vase are traditionally made by local artisans. Hand-painted using pigments and sticks, it is made of clay with a fluted bottle neck that will make the flower stems flow elegantly.
Is putting a vase of flowers near fruit a bad idea?
It is not recommended if you want your flowers to stay fresh as long as possible. Fruit – especially bananas and tomatoes – release ethylene gases that can speed up the aging and decomposition process in cut flowers. Try to keep the fruit bowl away from flower vases to avoid this from happening.
You may want to check out our shopping guide for the best vases you can buy this year for more design inspiration.