How to make flowers last longer and stay fresh at home, according to an expert

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Megan Murray
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Now we’re spending so much time at home, having fresh blooms about the place is more impactful than ever. Here’s how to make fresh flowers last for longer.

When faced with a situation as overwhelming and unsettling as the one we’re in now, sometimes all we can do is look for joy in the little things.

When life was a blur of work stress, socialising and weekend plans, a bunch of supermarket flowers probably didn’t feel like a big deal.

But now that our weekly food shop is the only retail therapy we get, some of us have started picking out colourful blooms with the same care we would a new dress. More than that, though, once back home, these little bouquets of happiness brighten our days and our homes. They give life to a space that, unsurprisingly after nearly a month of lockdown, has come to feel quite dull.

So, more than ever before, we’re finding we care about making flowers last longer. Suddenly, we’re mentally jotting down tips on how to care for them, like we would have once remembered the happy hour times for the pubs near the office. 

How to make flowers look fresher for longer.

If you’ve found yourself thinking the same, swat up on these top tips from florist extraordinaire Harriet Parry. Parry has worked with the likes of online florist Bloom & Wild, has experience in everything from fashion shoots to weddings and exhibitions, and even creates reimaginings of famous art using flowers (her dedicated Instagram page is certainly worth a follow).

Speaking to, Parry reveals the tips and tricks of the trade, to ensure your flowers last and look fresher for longer.

How to keep flowers fresher for longer

  • Trim your stems by an inch or so. Do this at a 45-degree angle to create a bigger surface area, which will allow them to drink more water.
  • Before you pop them in a vase, trim off all leaves that would be below the waterline as this can cause the water to go off.
  • Don’t cram in too many flowers into your vessel. Allow them to have space, or as famous florist Constance Spry put it, “leave room for the butterflies”.
  • Arrange your flowers stems in a criss-cross fashion. This will create support and will allow the flowers to sit in a way that each bloom can be appreciated.     
  • Remove any discoloured or bruised petals from roses to make them look as good as new.
  • Change your water every few days. Just as we like to drink clean water, so do your flowers, and this will make them much happier.
  • Trim off any blooms that have passed their best. This helps the new blooms to open and your arrangement to look fresh as a daisy.
  • Fun fact about tulips: they grow an inch every day, so cut these shorter than you might want. Or watch as your arrangement changes each day as they tend to grow towards the light.
  • Have you a floppy hydrangea? No bother: pop its head in water for a couple of hours and it will bounce back to its former glory.
  • Remove lily stamens as these can stain (and cats are allergic to them).
  • Support gerberas with other flowers as their stems tend to bend near the bloom after a few days. Or, if you have a little wire, bend this around the stem to keep them upright.
  • Keep your flowers away from radiators, drafts and direct sunlight to protect them.
  • To keep your flower water fresh, add a few drops of baby bleach in to your water, it kills bacteria.
  • Keep flowers away from fruit as they release gases that make flowers fade.

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How to make flowers look their best 

  • When arranging your flowers, follow the natural shape of the stem and bloom. Take your lead from nature.
  • Play with heights. Have some taller flowers at the top of the arrangement and some lower flowers dressing the neck of the vase.
  • Combine, textures, colours and shapes for an interesting and exciting aesthetic.
  • Be playful with your vessels and vases, think outside the box for a bit of fun. I love arranging in teapots, baked bean tins, anything! Use what you have at home.

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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