Valentine’s Day flower care tips |

Valentine’s Day flower care tips

David Lott
Horticulture Extension Educator

Fresh cut flowers are one of the sure-fire gifts for Valentine’s Day. This may be the one time of the year that someone receives cut flowers from family, friends or a secret admirer! As excited as many people become when they receive fresh cut flowers, many want to keep them looking great for as long as possible.

Here are some simple tips to try at home to enjoy fresh cut flowers longer. These common sense tips will help those flowers last a little longer to be admired!

• Remove any leaves and thorns that will be under the water line in the vase or container. Extra leaves and thorns under the water line can harbor bacteria that will multiply in the water.

• Use a clean vase. If a vase has previously been used, add a little bit of bleach and warm water in the vase. Swish this mixture around, and scrub the inside of the vase if possible. Rinse with new warm water. Allow the vase to dry by tipping it upside down before filling it with water and new flowers.

• Add lukewarm water and the flower preservative packet to the clean vase. The preservatives help the flowers stay fresh longer.

• Cut 1 inch off the bottom of each flower stem with a sharp paring knife under a stream of water. This method will help stem tissue stay open to draw in water from the vase.

• Put the newly cut flowers in the vase or container immediately. Crushed or calloused stem tissue will not draw up water, and will shorten the longevity of the blooms.

• Place cut flowers and arrangements away from hot and cold drafts, heat sources, or ripening fruit to avoid premature flower quality reduction.

• Change the water after a few days, repeating the previous steps. Do not re-cut the stems, but transfer to the fresh water immediately. Repeat changing the water after a few more days. This time, cut 1/4 inch of the stems under water before returning to the vase or container. Remove all dead or dying flowers from the arrangements as needed.

If you have any questions about Valentine’s Day flower tips, please contact me at, by calling (308) 532-2683, or contact your local University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office.

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