Help Your Flowers Live Longer: Part 2 - Rot

Last week I talked about keeping your flowers hydrated. This week can be summed up in one word:


Rot is by far the best way to accelerate the demise of your freshly cut flowers. And it can sneak up on you in a myriad of ways. But if you know what signs to watch for you can certainly help their cause for longevity.

Here are 3 easy steps to help save your flowers from rot.

1. Clean Your Stems

A dramatically helpful step you can take in preventing rot is to first clean your stems of all leaves and thorns that could be in your vase water.

If your flowers came from a good floral shop, pre-arranged or wrapped, they should already be cleaned for vase life. However, if your flowers were purchased at any standard grocer or supermarket, they likely haven't been cleaned yet. This just means you need to take a few extra minutes to pull those leaves off.

A pile of tulip leaves that were removed before arranging.

You can always leave a few up at the top if you like the way they look, but in general you should be cleaning about 85% of your standard flower stems from all foliage.

There are SO many benefits to taking this extra step of cleaning your stems. I can't even imagine a single professional who would skip this step when working with flowers. We always do it asap, before they even begin soaking in their bucket overnight, still waiting to be arranged.

Here's a before and after shot of this agonis I cleaned before using

Benefits of clean flower stems:

A.) It prevents the flowers from wasting energy on keeping all those extra leaves alive. Instead the focus is all invested in the pretty little blooms you're wanting to admire.

B.) It keeps all those leaves from rotting in the vase water-- the water your flowers are DRINKING to stay alive. For this reason it's also important to keep any fallen leaves or petals from floating around in your vase water, where they're slowly decomposing. No need to poison the living