I bought a bouquet of flowers today (Saturday) but I must give them on Monday

How should I preserve them?

  • in water?
  • in closed room without sun?
  • in a fresh room ?
  • at what temperature ?

5 Answers 5


Florists keep cut flowers

  • in water with some sugar or commercial floral preservative added
  • in a room with light that is chilled to zero to two degrees celsius.
  • with a relative humidity of ninety to 100 percent. (However if fungus starts developing on the leaves because of the humidity reduce it)

How long flowers keep depends on how fresh they were when you received them and the species. See here for more details.

  • can you be more sepcific? makeing an example ? with grades?
    – FrankTan
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 8:19
  • Kevinsky, I was a florist, albeit a rogue florist. Those packets they give with fresh flowers to put in the water actually shorten the life of cut flowers. I used to be quite well known with my suppliers and even they knew that! Suppliers do not keep their fresh flowers in water, when they do anyway, with any sugar, bleach, nada! Just pure water. Trust me, I tested this. It is a scam so fresh flowers need replaced more often. Pffftt!
    – stormy
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 2:17
  • Please keep answers and comments directed towards the question and not towards someone trying to help. If you have a better answer. Just answer the question
    – GardenGems
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 3:15

I'd better jump in here...do not use anything in your water. Two days is no big deal. Cold water, no direct sun and a cool place is perfect. Do not put in your refrigerator. Especially if you have ever had apples stored there! They give off a gas that will definitely age your flowers quickly. What kind of flowers are we discussing? Did you cut your stems when you got home and put them in water? Your florist would be more than happy to hold them for you for two days (if you make nice) in a walk-in frig that has never seen an apple. If they are roses, hopefully you've made your cuts under water before putting them in fresh, unadulterated water. Otherwise, there will be air bubbles that will block water to the flower and causes the heads to droop. That stuff they give you to 'prolong' the life of flowers is a scam. I know because I've been a florist and thought that was a horrid way to get return clients! Grin!

  • 2
    Glad you found this one, stormy, it's good when someone with knowledge finds an old question. I have never used flower food, but I did hear about fruit giving off ethylene while ripening, and how it damages flowers. Here's a good article: Ethylene: The Ripening Hormone
    – J. Musser
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:17
  • I didn't pull out the ethylene but had I taken notice it was your question, I would have. A great way to ripen bananas, avocados...put them in bag with apples.
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:49
  • Other fruits, not only apples, produce ethylene as well, like bananas, which I ripen by keeping in a closed paper bag in a warm place.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:52
  • No, J. I was just writing you back...so very weird. I scrolled up to check who asked the question and all that was there was your name. Went back after my comment and Frank's name was there. It's either me or a ghost in the machine...yes, that is correct about other fruits. I'm glad my shop was placed next to the smoke shop and not produce!! But I have an obsession now with smoked meat and cheese!
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:57

If the flowers are not too tall, or if you are willing to rearrange your fridge, some flower bouquets (especially spring bulbs like tulips or daffodils) keep well in the refrigerator.


2 days is really no big deal as long as you keep your flowers out of bright sunlight or near a radiator.

I'm a florist in Essex UK and we would expect our cut flower bouquets to last 10-14 days. We have customers who contact us complementing that their flowers have lasted 3 weeks!

We do not do anything special, just cut stems with a very sharp knife or secateurs. We use trade food in the water but fresh water will be fine.

  • Jonathon, welcome! We have a quite strict policy on self-promotion. I understand that you would like to link to your company and being a professional adds credibility. But we will accept that only if it adds real substance to an otherwise good answer. I recommend you take the tour and browse through our help center.
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 14:34

I add a drop of dawn dish soap and 12 ounces of lemon lime soda to the water and it keeps flowers pressure longer than anything else

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