How to Keep Flowers Fresh Longer

Publisher’s Note: In this fourth in our series of gardening tips from professional grower Lauren Ketcham of Down the Road Farm in New Lexington, Ohio, Lauren shares secrets of keeping cut flowers fresh!

We grow many varieties of flowers and each has a different vase life, but our regular customers (who know their way around a vase!) usually report about a week’s worth of enjoyment from most bouquets, if properly cared for.

Many customers report even longer vase life. Here’s a comment we heard last year: “My flowers from you last 2-3 weeks, consistently! SO much more beautiful and long-lasting than grocery store bouquets.”

So, what’s their secret (aside from buying fresh and local)?

Tips for Keeping Flowers Fresh


Bacteria and algae shorten the vase life of flowers. Change the water completely, daily if you can remember. And, it’s best to use a clean vase. I once I heard another flower farmer say, your vase should be as clean as your grandma’s tea cups. If you wouldn’t want to drink out of it, your plants don’t either!


Keep your flowers in a cool location (air conditioning ideally), out of the sun, and away from ripe fruit and breezes.

Increase Hydration

Re-cut the stems at an angle to increase hydration.

Trim & Groom

Remove leaves below the water line to prevent rot.
Remove any wilted stems from the bouquet as needed.

In addition to these tips, you can get the most out of your flowers by transporting them no longer than 30 minutes in a cool vehicle without water. If you need more time for your trip, it’s best to bring a container with water.

Filed under: Green Thumb, Life, Meet Your Neighbors, News, People
Lauren Ketcham, owner of Down the Road Farm in New Lexington, Ohio, holding a colorful spray of Ranunculus flowers

By Lauren Ketcham

Lauren Ketcham has been growing specialty cut flowers at Down the Road Farm in New Lexington since 2013. You can find her and her sustainably grown flowers each week at the Lancaster Farmers Market. Visit Down The Road Farm to shop for 2024 Flower Bouquet Subscriptions or to learn more about having local flowers at your wedding or special event.