Give stems a nice flat cut if the flowers are going into a vase where the stems will be resting against the bottom, Dole said. “If you’re placing stems into a foam, a pointed cut will be better.”
Remove any leaves below the water line. “They’ll decompose and either get sucked up into the stems or stimulate bacteria growth,” Dole said.
Choose flowers that are well colored and not fully open. That will add a few days to their vase life, Dole said.
Ethylene gas, produced by fresh fruits and vegetables, is a naturally occurring ripening agent that can drastically shorten the life of many cut flowers. “Put your fruit in the kitchen and keep the flowers in the dining room,” Ziegler said.
Location is important. “The cooler the area the better,” Ziegler said. “Cut flowers last longer if kept out of direct sunlight. Refrigerating them overnight is good, but it doesn’t work for all flowers. Dahlias love it; zinnias will turn black.”
These cut flowers are not fully open, which should add a few days to their vase life.