How Long Can Flowers Go Without Water? Our Best Flower Care Tips!

Everyone loves having fresh flowers in their home, but it can be a real bummer when that bouquet you received from your significant other starts to wilt after just a few days. 

It’s even more difficult to keep your flowers looking perky and healthy when the weather is hot — especially without central air conditioning.

So, how long can flowers go without water? What’s the ideal environment for your favorite bouquets? How much flower food do you really need? Below, we answer these questions and more to help you provide the best care possible for your flowers:

1. Put Cut Flowers in the Refrigerator: Nobody is marveling at the beauty of your bouquets overnight, so stick them in the refrigerator! Like putting your fruits and veggies in the fridge keeps them fresher longer, the same goes for your flowers. Think about it – florists tend to store their flowers in large fridges, so why wouldn’t the same concept work for you? Clean out an area of your fridge and keep your bouquet fresh for up to four days longer than a non-treated bouquet!

2. Know Your Flowers Water Needs: Not sure how long flowers can go without water? Understanding the needs of your specific flower type can help you get a better idea of how long you can walk around with that bouquet you picked up from your local florist. Hunker states that most flowers begin to decline as soon as they are cut, but some last longer outside of the vase than others. For example, poppies are sensitive and may only last an hour after being cut if they aren’t immediately placed in water. How long can roses go without water? The source says they can last a couple of hours without water so long as environmental factors don’t get in the way.
How Long Can Flowers Go Without Water? Our Best Flower Care Tips!
How Long Can Flowers Go Without Water? Our Best Flower Care Tips!
3. Drop A Penny in the Flower Vase: Copper is a known antibacterial agent, and the bacteria that multiplies in the water is a contributor to the breakdown of cut flowers. Simply putting a penny in the vase protects the flowers from some of the bacteria, keeping them fresh for longer. Pairing this method with the refrigerator, your flowers will stay fresher for days.

4. Don’t Place Cut Flowers in Direct Sunlight: While your flowers need a little bit of sunlight, we tend to overestimate how much is necessary. They aren’t actively growing anymore, so sunlight isn’t as beneficial as it is when the flowers are still rooted in the ground. When you have cut flowers, their needs change, and temperature becomes a much bigger factor. For example, putting your flowers on a windowsill with direct sunlight tends to be hot. You should keep your bouquet away from heating vents too and away from the fruit that you keep on the counter – the gases released from the fruit can cause some flowers to wilt quicker.

5. Maintain Your Cut Flowers: Something as simple as trimming the stems every couple of days can go a long way. This takes off the dying ends of the flowers, so they can absorb more water. Be sure to cut them diagonally.

In addition, you should also change the water daily or every other day, depending on the state of the flowers. Use lukewarm water for regular flowers, but cold water for bulb flowers. Sterilize the vase between fills as well. If you have a variety bouquet, like A Little Pink Me Up, there’s a good chance that some of the flowers will die earlier than others. If this is the case, remove the dead ones and pick out the leaves that have fallen into the water. Eliminating these from the bouquet will limit the amount of bacteria in the water.

6. Don’t Use the Entire Flower Food Packet: If your bouquet came with a packet of food, don’t use it all at once. Every time you change the water, sprinkle a little bit more in. This flower food typically consists of sugar, an acidifier, and bleach. If your bouquet didn’t come with flower food, never fear! You can make your own with a little sugar, citrus juice, and bleach.

Just a little maintenance will keep your flowers looking brand new, letting you enjoy them for more days that you could have imagined!

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