DIY Cut Flower Food Recipes & Tips

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Looking for ways to keep your bouquets fresh for weeks after your flowers arrive? Try these DIY Cut Flower Food Recipes & Tips I put together. Want more flower ideas? Try my Floral page for how to oven-dry flowers, seasonal wreaths and more!

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I love getting flowers! The bouquet shown above are my Valentines Day flowers from my husband! They are 10 days old and going strong. How did I make them last so long? Well, before I went to floral design school I would of just let them die and toss them out. Who knew you could make them last for a few weeks using flower food! Here are some tips I learned to keep flowers fresh for weeks after they arrive.

The bouquet above is from Publix. The flowers my husband bought online and had delivered were a disaster, so we got our money back and headed to the grocery store.

This bouquet was a quarter of the price of the other one we ordered and it lasted seven days longer than the traditional flower shop bouquet. Poor guy has a floral designer as a wife, who is picky about her flowers, he can’t win, lol.

  • If you receive your bouquet in a box from a mail order company, keep the box cool until you can prepare the flowers. I really like the flowers that come in a bunch that you can arrange yourself. When I buy the flowers this way they are in much better shape than store bought and last a bit longer as well.
  • One of the first things you do when you get a bouquet home is to remove the rubber bands and trim the stems. Remove lower leaves and any dead leaves from the bottom of the stems. Any leaves sitting in the water line of your vase will cause mold/fungi to grow and infect the water and your flowers.


  • Lay a flower on a cutting board, with a sharp knife, cut the stems 1-2 inches from the end of the stems at a slant, place the flower in water immediately. This opens the stem to receive the flower food and water.
  • After a flower has been out of water for some time the stem seals shut, trimming the stem again will open it up again. Repeat with all your flowers. It is best to do the trimming with a sharp knife instead of scissors. Scissors will crush the bottom of the stem.

Tip: Even if my flowers arrive in a vase of water, I still take them out re-cut the stems and remove the water line and lower leaves.

Store bought bouquets usually come with a flower food packet attached to them. If you did not get one, here are some easy recipes to make your own.

My favorite way and the one I used this Valentine’s Day is #1.

DIY Cut Flower Food Recipes & Tips

Add one of these remedies in with the flower water.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar & Sugar~ Add a teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of regular sugar to the water. The vinegar kills the bacteria and fungi so your flowers will thrive.
  • Lemon Juice & Bleach~ A teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of bleach is another solution to keep flowers healthy. Bleach may sound extreme but it kills bacteria and fungi as well.
  • Lemon Lime Soda~ One part Lemon-Lime Soda {Do not use Diet or other flavored sodas} to 3 parts water. The soda has the acid and sugar the flowers need to survive.

Change the water and flower food solution every 3-4 days or if the water starts looking cloudy. Throw out any dead or shedding flowers. Re-cut stems and add more of the food solution. If your fresh flowers came in floral foam make sure you keep the foam soaked with water and flower food.

Keep the flowers in a cool area, around 72 degrees. Keep away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Keep in mind most florists keep flowers refrigerated until they are delivered.  Flowers last longer under cooler conditions.




I hope this post will help you extend the life of your next bouquet!



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~Check out more of my Floral Projects!

How to make a boutonniere, Diy corsage, wedding corsage

How to Make a Boutonniere



How to Oven Dry Flowers for Potpourri


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12 thoughts on “DIY Cut Flower Food Recipes & Tips

  1. Hi Kim,
    I am doing a science project on flower foods and was wondering which store-bought plant foods you would recommend.

    1. Honestly, the only one I have used is Miracle Grow and the packets that come with the store bought flowers. I hope this helps!

  2. Hi Kim, thanks for the tips, but my question is how much water that I must use with those recipes? For example, those recipes is for 2 liters of water, so if I use 1 liter of water it can be I must use half of the suggested recipes?

    Can’t wait for your answer.



    1. Hi Rudi,
      I’ve used these recipes for a large vase, around 1 quart (4 cups) of water, so if you are using small vases I would cut the recipe down. As long as there is some of the solution to add acidity/sugar it should work to keep them fresh.

  3. Does this work with Tulips too?

    1. Hi Victoria,
      I am sure it works for all cut flowers.

  4. Do you use part or all of the flower food in a vase alone or with say half plain water?



    1. Hi Cathy,
      Mix the flower food in with the water. Just like you would with the packets you get sometimes that come with bouquets.

  5. John Martin says:

    I have a lot of old cut flower sachets – can I use them when watering the flowers in the garden?

    1. Hi John, If they are old they may not work anymore. I think you should use a flower food for growing plants in your garden. My recipes and tips are for cut flowers. Good Question though. Thanks for reading.

  6. The flowers looks fantastic still I must try your recipe – ‘Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board.

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