How to Make Those Valentine’s Day Flowers Last Longer

After receiving that gorgeous bouquet of roses from your significant other, you're probably eager to keep them alive for as long as possible! Although there isn’t any one trick that will keep them alive forever, these helpful tips can help prolong its longevity so you can spend more time enjoying your gift!


The three main ingredients flowers need to stay alive are carbohydrates, acidifiers, and biocides. Carbohydrates are necessary for cell metabolism, acidifiers adjust the pH levels in the water to facilitate and increase water uptake, and biocides combat bacteria, helping maintain good plant health. Without these, your flowers lifetime is cut short.

Home mixes can be just as effective as commercial preservatives! An easy-to-make recipe includes:

  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar

  • 1 Teaspoon Household Bleach

  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon/Lime Juice

  • 1 Quart Lukewarm Water

Another easy recipe mixes 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vase water before adding the flowers. Be sure to change the water (with more vinegar and sugar) every couple days to enhance your flowers’ longevity!

It’s also a little known fact that adding aspirin and even a penny in your vase can increase the flowers lifespan. Aspirin’s carbohydrate content helps keep the flowers looking fresh and the copper in the penny acts as an acidifier, decreasing the pH levels of the water. Unfortunately, solid copper pennies are no longer being minted.


Make sure when placing your flowers into a vase, that they are not overcrowding one another. Overcrowded stems will wilt more quickly and release more bacteria into the water!


Check the water levels in the vase and replenish it frequently. Roses and other flowers that rest in stale water will wilt rapidly! To prevent this from happening, swap it out every day or so, replacing it with fresh water. Use lukewarm water for roses so you don’t shock the delicate blooms!

Cutting the Stems

It’s best to cut the stems at a 45 degree angle with a sharp knife! Using dull cutting instruments increases the risk of crushing its delicate stems and making it harder for the flower to drink the water it requires for survival. Re-cut the stems at least every two days, removing just a small portion to allow for a clean opening. If there are any browned ends, cut above them.


Always discard wilted leaves and blooms. By doing so, you prevent them from dropping into the water and starting to rot, which could reduce your bouquet life.


When putting your flowers on display, make sure it is kept away from drafts, direct sunlight, and ripening fruits. These fruits emit ethylene gas, which is a substance that  causes buds to remain closed, petals to retain a poor color, and flowers to have a shortened vase life. Also, keep them away from appliances like TVs and computers, which give off heat and can dehydrate your flowers. If you plan to be away for longer than a day, place your flowers in the fridge to increase its longevity!

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