Florist reveals a secret that will keep homegrown cut flowers fresh for longer

Remember this step for lovely long-lasting blooms straight from the garden

dahlias being cut from garden
(Image credit: Getty)

A vase of uplifting flowers instantly brightens up any living space, making it feel more inviting. You can impress guests with beautiful homegrown arrangements by planting the best cutting garden flowers at home – they need less space than you might expect.

After planting and tending to your flowers for weeks, you'll of course want them to last as long as possible once cut. While we all know to get any flowers into a vase ASAP, an expert says that when cutting flowers ourselves, a pretty wicker basket isn't the best idea.

yellow and orange flowers in a bucket

(Image credit: Getty)

Speaking on Gardeners' World, Helena Wilcocks, a florist from north London explained that it's best to put them directly into a bucket of water. ‘You want the stem to be quite long, and then you want to put it straight into the water,' Helena says. 

'People think it’s nice to harvest some into a basket or something but it’s completely impractical. You want to get them into water immediately.'

She goes on to say that as soon as you cut a stem, just like if you cut your arm, it starts to close up. 'You want to get it straight into water so it has a proper drink. It really does keep the life of the flowers going much longer,' Helena adds.

lilac cut flowers in buckets on table

(Image credit: Getty)

Whether you're growing tulips, sweet peas or cosmos, you can extend the life of your flowers and enjoy them for that little bit longer by keeping them in water as much as possible. It's similar to the way flowers are always stored resting in large plastic containers of water in the supermarket or corner shop.

There are many other tips and tricks out there for keeping cut blooms fresh. Some say dropping a penny into the water helps, and some cleaning fans say you can keep cut roses fresh with lemonade. But stopping the stems from closing up and changing the water every other day are the key things to remember.

daisies in a garden watering can

(Image credit: Getty)

If you have limited outdoor space, make sure you know about the best places to buy plants online. You could also enjoy the cheerful color of fresh flowers in a window box - check out our guide to the best plants for window boxes for a beautiful display.

The best thing about homegrown flowers is that you can make them personal, arranging your favorite blooms just how you like them - just keep a bucket or watering can handy.

Millie joined Gardeningetc in early 2021. She loves creating a vibrant display of containers in her small urban garden and is always picking up new plants at the local garden center. She's never without some fresh flowers at home and her favorite houseplant is her variegated pothos that's currently climbing its way over her bookshelves.