The Quick & Free Trick to Making Flowers Last Forever

published Jul 5, 2024
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Credit: Sarah Crowley

Whether you’re growing flowers in your own backyard or picking them up at the grocery store, the goal is always to make them last as long as possible. There are all sorts of theories on how to make your flowers stay perky longer, from adding bleach to putting a penny in the water.

But Nicole Jaques, the kitchen and home hack content creator behind @itsnicolejacques, is going viral for an Instagram Reel that promises an easy, free way to make your flowers last up to two weeks longer — and there are no special ingredients required.

How to Make Flowers Last Longer for Free

Jacques’ flower hack involves a super-simple method. Flower enthusiasts know that you should trim flower stems before putting cut blooms into a vase. But Jacques warns against cutting them out in the open air — which is something most people probably do without a second thought.

Instead, Jacques cuts the stems under water. The theory is that when a flower stem is initially cut, it immediately loses access to water because it can no longer tap into its roots. Air then gets into the stem and forms a blockage. That’s why you should trim the stem on cut flowers to open it up again and reintroduce the flow of water. Jacques explains that cutting the stem underwater should prevent another blockage from forming and keep the stem open to absorbing water.

Credit: Jamie Sanders

But Does a Florist Think It’s Necessary?

The comments on the Reel debate whether this trick actually makes a significant difference on how long flowers last. Jacques claims it can help flowers last up to two weeks longer — but what does a florist think?

“It’s not necessary to cut your flowers under water, but you do need to cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the bottom of the stem before putting it in fresh, clean water,” says Cameron Hardesty, CEO and founder of wedding flower source Poppy. 

Hardesty explains that the plant cells at the bottom of the stem can become dry and brittle if they are not submerged in water while they’re being transported or they can become dirty if they’ve been left in buckets with stagnant water, which can lead to faster decomposition. “This portion of the stem needs to be removed so that the intact cells can absorb water and the rest of the stem can take it up to the petals,” she says.

So, while cutting the stems underwater might not be totally necessary, it won’t hurt. Another budget-friendly tip that will definitely help flowers last longer, according to Hardesty: “Flower food will help your stems last longer, but you can achieve the same effect with a bit of table sugar and a drop of bleach or vodka.”