5 Tips to Make Your Bouquet Last Longer

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Here's how you can have your flowers stand the test of time.

Michael Gaffney, the author of "Design Star: Lessons from the New York School of Flower Design" and an instructor at the New York School of Flower Design, shares his tips to make your bouquet last longer.

His advice:

What to Watch

Gaffney notes that the "the two things that kill flowers are bacteria in the water and surface evaporation." To combat water loss, he suggests dunking your flowers head first into a bucket of water as soon as you get them and to continue soaking them for a half an hour to have your blossoms last twice as long.

What to Avoid

You know those packets of powder that come with your flowers? They actually might be doing more harm than good, if not used properly. According to Gaffney, those powders are actually meant to be put into water 24 hours before flowers touch it. These floral preserves, if added to water along with your bouquet, will actually deteriorate the straws of your blooms and will make it more difficult for flowers to drink water.

What to Add

Adding little bleach to your flower's water can go a long way. Gaffney says that the bleach "will kill bacteria and keep your flowers alive longer."


To keep them fresh, Gaffney suggests cutting two inches off the stems of flowers every fourth day to remove the sections that might be eroding from bacteria.

Perfect Temperature

There's nothing like cool temperatures to keep flowers lasting longer. Gaffney recommends avoiding hot suns, warm heaters, etc., to prolong your flowers' shelf life. And, if possible, he suggests placing your arrangement outside on a cool night.

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