Fresh Flower DO's and DON'Ts

By Ashley Dyer

Looking to maximize your enjoyment of fresh flowers? Follow these do's and don'ts!


  • Always use a clean vase and quality water
  • Always re-cut your flowers if you are putting them into a vase for the first time.
  • Replenish your water frequently (every 2-3 days)
  • Trim your flowers at least a half inch every time you change the water (every 2-3 days)
  • Always use sharp scissors when cutting your stems to ensure a clean cut
  • Always remove the leaves below the water line
  • Always check the water daily and top it up
  • Remove any flowers that with time look less than pristine, as this will keep the remaining flowers looking fresh
  • Always wash your vase/container very thoroughly in hot soapy water or, better yet, in the dishwasher


  • Never use a "homemade" substitute for flower food such as aspirin, bleach or soda pop
  • Never remove all foliage from the stems
  • Never place your flowers with or near fresh fruit (especially bananas and apples) or cigarette smoke as both produce ethylene gas which will shorten flower life
  • Never place flowers in direct sunlight near a heat register or near any other source of excessive heat
  • Never use flower food in crystal or metal containers as the acid in the flower food will react with metal (including the lead in crystal)