Cut Flower Care


How to Care for Cut Flowers

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Cutting Tools and Techniques

  • Carefully unpack the flowers upon arrival, some flowers bruise easily. 
  • Start with only clean vases or containers.
  • Keep the flowers in a cool and well-ventilated spot out of direct sunlight and away from heat. As a general rule of thumb: the cooler the temperature, the slower the flowers will open and the longer they will last.  
  • Change the water every 2 or 3 days - do not just top it off. This is the single most effective thing you can do to keep your flowers looking fresh. We highly recommend you clean the vase and re-cut the stems every time you change the water.
  • Avoid placing flowers near heating or cooling vents, under ceiling fans or on the tops of televisions or radiators (placing flowers on or near these objects can cause the flower to become dehydrated).
  • Keep cut flowers away from: cigarette smoke, paint fumes, hairspray, exhaust fans, and ripe fruit, which releases a gas that causes flowers to age faster.

Cutting Tools and Techniques

  • Always use clean, sharp utensils when cutting flowers. Knives, clippers, or shears should be used rather than household scissors. Using scissors will crush their vascular systems and prevent proper water uptake.
  • Cut the flower stem and immediately place it in a vase of water. Flower and foliage stems that have been left out of water, even for a short period, seal up and inhibit the absorption of water. 
  • Cut all flowers and foliage about one inch from the bottom of a main stem. Make the slice at a 45 degree angle. This provides a larger exposed area for the uptake of water, and enables the stem to stand on a point, allowing water to be in contact with the cut surface. Remove lower foliage that would be in water. This will retard bacterial growth, which shortens the vase life of flowers and makes the water smell foul.
  • Remove lower foliage that will be in water. This will retard bacterial growth, which shortens the vase life of flowers and makes the water smell foul. 

Water Temperature

  • Use lukewarm water (100 F) for cut flowers. (An exception is bulb flowers, such as hyacinths and tulips, which need cold water.) Flowers absorb warm water quicker than cold water.  However, it can take up to 12 hours to hydrate properly after shipping.
  • A wilted flower means the flower is simply not getting water.  If this happens, RE-CUT the stem at a 45 degree angle with a sharp knife or clipper.  Place in deep warm water until crisp and hydrated - 3 to 4 hours- works great on roses and hydrangeas.


  • Using a preservative to increases the longevity of cut flowers is suggested. 

Special Care Tips


  • Before placing roses in water, trim the stems and carefully remove any loose or discolored outer petals. As each rose opens, carefully remove unsightly petals.
  • Do not expose fresh cut flowers to freezing temperatures.
  • Re-cut the stems and change the water every 2 to 3 days or as needed.

Oriental Lilies & Asiatic Lilies

  • Cut the stems about an inch up from the bottom and place them in water.
  • As the blooms open, remove the stamens (little pollen sacks) so that they do not stain the flower, furniture or clothes.
  • Re-cut the stems and change the water every 2 to 3 days or as needed. 

Calla Lilies

  • Sometimes Calla Lilies are shipped with plastic sleeves around the flower heads. Carefully remove the plastic sleeves upon arrival.
  • When calla lilies arrive, it is not uncommon for all the flowers in a bunch to bend in the same direction. Place the flowers in bunches of 10 stems and turn the calla lilies so that the blooms are all bending out in different directions. Secure each bunch with rubber bands placed at the bottom, in the middle and near the top of the stem. This simple procedure will ensure that your calla lilies will stand tall and strong when put out for display.
  • Once in bunches, trim the stems about  an  inch up from the bottom with a sharp knife at a 45 degree angle and place the bunch in water.
  • From time to time the small tips (the curly-Q's) of the calla lilies will turn brown. This is a normal occurrence. When this happens, simply trim the tip (curly-Q) at an angle right below where it begins to turn brown.
  • Re-cut the stems and change the water every 2 to 3 days or as needed. 

Fresh Rose Petals

  • Avoid two things: moisture and freezing temperatures.
  • Our fresh rose petals are packed in bags of roughly 1,000 petals. When you receive the bags, carefully open one end of the bag, fold a paper towel in half and slide it inside the bag between the bag and the rose petals. Flip the bag over and repeat the process (you will essentially be lining the inside of the bag with paper towels). The paper towels will catch any condensation, which may form and will help to insulate the rose petals.
  • Store fresh rose petals in a refrigerator; however, keep them away from  cold areas. If fresh rose petals look as if they are drying out, remove them from the refrigerator and store them in a cool spot out of sunlight and away from heat (such as in the garage or basement) in the box they came in.

Dendrobium Orchids

  • The stems of Dendrobium Orchids need to be re-cut to encourage water uptake. Once the stems are cut and you have placed the flowers in water, you will see a dramatic improvement in their appearance as the flowers perk up and continue to open.
  • Re-cut the stems and change the water every 2 to 3 days or as needed. 
  • If you have to transport Dendrobium Orchids any great distance you can re-charge the water tubes. Simply submerge the water tube it in a bucket of water and shake it. The tube will re-fill with water. Cut the stem about 1/2 inch from the bottom, and replace the water tube on the bottom of the stem.


  • Hydrangeas are very water-sensitive flowers.
  • Cut about 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the stem UNDER WATER (either submerged or under running water). Promptly place the flower in clean water. 
  • It is essential that these flowers be kept in water. If you remove the Hydrangea from water, it will show fatigue quickly.
  • Re-cut the stems and change the water every 2 to 3 days, or as needed.
  • If your Hydrangea starts to shrivel, re-cut the stem and submerge the entire flower in water. It will rehydrate in no time.
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