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Artist, illustrator & explorer who loves creating pretty things

How I keep my cut flowers looking fresher for longer

My two best personal pleasures in life include a good cup of coffee and having fresh flowers around my home. Hong Kong has some of the best flower markets around and I usually only buy my flowers from the flower market. I love chatting with the ladies at the market stalls and mixing and matching flowers for my bouquets.

Despite getting my flowers directly from the market sellers, I find fresh cut flowers don’t seem to last as long as I would like with the Hong Kong heat and humidity. I have been experimenting with ways to lengthen the life of my bouquets and so far these are the best tips and advice I use which I find makes a huge difference.

Start with a clean vase

First things first – make sure your vase is clean! Sometimes grime and residue are left from your previous bouquet of flowers. It seems like a small silly thing, but the more bacteria in your flower water, the quicker your flowers will die – you don’t want to add to the bacteria with a dirty vase.

Prep your flower stems

Take some time to cut your flower stems at an angle (this increases the surface area for your flowers to suck up the water), and remove any leaves and branches which will be exposed to the flower water, which can rot over time.

Keep your water clean and fresh

As I mentioned, bacteria buildup in your flower water makes your flowers wilt more quicker. I change the water in my flower bouquet every two days. I also add a drop or two of bleach and some sugar. Bleach helps keep the bacteria at bay and the sugar can help act as plant food. Be careful not to add more than two drops of bleach, too much bleach will kill your blooms.

The type of flowers you get also makes a big difference in how long they last when cut. Generally, I find wildflowers last longer than the more delicate types of flowers.

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