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345 California Street
San Francisco, CA, 94104
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At Urban Botanica we pair exquisite floral design with stellar customer service. Our San Francisco and Menlo Park locations are full service flower shops with same day delivery available. We are happy to fully customize your order. Please call or email us with any questions.

How to make flowers last as long as possible

Botanica Blog

How to make flowers last as long as possible

Jason Stevens

How Long Will a Bouquet of Flowers Last?

A bouquet of flowers is a classic gift for any situation. Flowers can be used to congratulate someone’s accomplishments, issue an apology, mark a romantic anniversary, show gratitude, or be an essential part of a beautiful wedding. How long that classic gift will last can depend on several factors, including types of flowers and how they are cared for.

The Type of Flower Matters

Different types of flowers live for very different lengths of time once cut, from under a week on average to over two weeks. Generally, blooms that last longer on the plant also last longer in a bouquet. Many of the most popular flowers to put in a bouquet are those that are considered longer-lasting blooms. 

Flowers that Last up to 1 Week

The following flowers generally last less than a week after being cut. For that reason, they are not as commonly used in bouquets:

  • Tulips

  • Daisies

  • Gardenias

  • Poppies

Flowers that Last 7 to 10 Days

Flowers that last one week to one and a half weeks are more popular in bouquets. Quite a few flowers fall into this category, including the following:

  • Lillies

  • Peonies

  • Sunflowers

  • Roses

  • Hydrangeas

Flowers that Last up to 2 Weeks

These flowers make last much longer than average and are great additions to a bouquet:

  • Alstroemerias

  • Birds of Paradise

  • Gerberas

Flowers that Last Over 2 Weeks

The following flowers can live over two weeks after being cut, and are found in many bouquets for that reason:

  • Carnations

  • Chrysanthemums

  • Hypericum

Ways to Extend the Life of Cut Flowers

Choosing flowers that last a long time is not the only way to extend the life of a bouquet. Once the right flowers have been carefully selected and arranged, there are ways to help them last even longer.

Making the Cut

Trimming flowers is a well-known way to extend their life. To maximize how much water a flower can absorb, cut the stems at an angle. The diagonal cut creates a larger surface for absorption and keeps the stem from sitting flat at the bottom of a vase which can slow water intake. 

Re-trimming every day or so can also help. When trimming, make sure to use sharp scissors so the stems are not damaged, and also remove the leaves below the water line to discourage bacteria.

What About Water?

While putting the bouquet into water is common sense, it is not enough to place the flowers in a vase of water and then walk away. First, ensure the vase is clean. A dirty vase breeds bacteria which can decrease the life of a cut flower. Water should also be changed regularly. Plant food also cuts down on bacterial growth and it can be helpful to add plant food each time the water is replaced.

Keep it Cool

Temperature and sunlight do a lot to determine the life of a bouquet of flowers. Unlike house plants, sunlight is not good for cut flowers and can shorten the life of the bouquet. Warm temperatures can also be detrimental. Keeping the bouquet in cool, shaded places is helpful. For types of flowers that especially like cool temperatures, some people even refrigerate the bouquet at night time.

Some Final Thoughts

While there are a lot of ways to extend the life of a floral bouquet, flowers can only stay as fresh as they are the day they arrive. This means that whether one is shopping for a bouquet for a loved one or looking for a San Francisco Wedding Florist, finding a florist that can be trusted to provide quality flowers is essential. Visit for an array of fresh flowers that can be delivered in beautiful condition, and kept fresh with the above tips.