University of Florida

Valentine's Day Flowers

Keep Them Alive Longer

Fresh flowers are a popular gift on holidays, with good reason--92% of American women can remember the last time they were given flowers, and fresh flowers have an immediate positive impact on happiness. Increase the lifespan of your beautiful flowers, and extend your good feelings, by following these easy steps!

  • Handle your flowers carefully--they are delicate and living plants.
  • Keep flowers in water, first removing any leaves that will be submerged.
  • While holding the bottom of the stem, cut about an inch off the stem with a sharp, clean knife or clippers. This will allow water to pass more easily through the flower stem.
  • Use a commercial flower food, properly mixed in your vase water. Make sure you follow the directions on the floral preservative packet. Most packets are for either one pint or one quart of water. Bottled water can be used to increase water uptake.
  • If your vase solution begins to become cloudy, re-cut the stems and place into a new vase solution.
  • Keep flowers out of direct sunlight and in a cool place to help them retain moisture.
  • Keep flowers away from heated surfaces to prevent wilting.
  • Keep flowers away from cigarette smoke and ripening fruit, because they contain ethylene gas, which is harmful to flowers.
Written by:

Terril Nell, Professor Emeritus, Environmental Horticulture Department.

Related Sites & Articles