3 Hot Tips to Make Flowers Last Longer

One day while strolling through the Union Square Farmers Market in New York, I came upon a booth with the most gorgeous flowers wrapped in brown paper.  You could tell that the man selling them took his work very seriously. 

I stopped to talk with him about the different varieties for sale, and he spoke about each bouquet like they were his children. He was what I call “A Beauty Keeper.”

Whenever I encounter A Beauty Keeper, I feel like a fly who is happily drowning in a pot of honey.  People whose work is to bring beauty into the world are magical, sacred creatures to me. I can’t get enough of them! 

After all, beauty is what we turn to in times of grief and joy.  Beauty is how we mark the celebration of a milestone.  In even the most desperate times, beauty helps us remember who we really are.

When I purchased a dozen, swollen pink roses from this man, he bestowed upon me three masterful tips to release his pride and joy into my care.  With spring right around the corner, it is my pleasure and delight to deliver them to you today!


 1. Prepare a vase with HOT tap water to place the flowers into. 

The water should be hot as in “yowza” when you touch it, but not so hot you can’t touch it at all.  The heat increases the amount of water the stems can drink in,  causing them to last longer, and also slowly seducing the bloom into being. (note: this is true for most flowers, but if you have a particularly delicate flower such as an anemone, use lukewarm water instead.)

2. Add a penny to the vase.

The copper in the penny adds acidity, keeping the water and the flowers fresher for longer.

3. Cut stems at a 45 degree angle under running water.

Any time the cut stem comes into contact with air, it increases the speed at which the flower will decompose.  For that reason, cut the stems using a knife at a 45 degree angle, removing about one to two inches of the stem.  Once cut, immediately place the stem into the vase of hot water.

After care: change the water and snip the stems every 1-2 days.

Not only will this keep the water fresh, I find that this keeps my bond with the flowers fresh too! It’s an act of love and appreciation for the beauty they bring to my life. An act of beauty for a thing of beauty, because after all:

Beauty begets beauty. (Click to tweet!)

Once the flowers start to die, don’t throw them out!

Take the flower petals and sprinkle them in the bath, across your doorstep, or keep them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for your future adorning needs.

May these tips bring as much joy and reverie to your life as they have to mine.









  1. What a lovely post on a snowy afternoon. A cacophony of spring birdsong outside my window belies the storm surrounding the little ones who serade me but their sweet music correlates with this warm message of the promise that lies beneath. TY for this gift beautiful one.

  2. Thank you, Kitty, for these beautiful reminders on keeping our roses fresh and beautiful. One thing that I must tell you after a stint in the floral world is that most roses are dipped in a bucket of pesticides before they come into the USA. So unless you grow the roses in a yard you know isn’t using pesticides I can’t recommend bathing in these petals as gorgeous as they may be. Any store bought roses are in fact rather toxic so handle with love and appreciation but don’t get them all over you, unless you can fully verify the source. Sorry to be a downer but the floral industry is really toxic (this is moreso in the USA and not as much in Europe where the Europeans most often do have a bouquet of flowers on their table and use less pesticides in their floral crops).

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