How to Condition Cut Flowers

It’s not going to be the most exciting or the prettiest of blog posts today but it is essential for anyone who wants to keep their flowers as fresh for as long as possible. Whether you’re buying your flowers from a florist, a market stall, supermarket or picking them from the garden; with a few basic tips hopefully we can keep your flowers looking happier for longer.

Last week I trundled off to see Emma from A Quiet Style to do this month’s tutorial, but before I went to see her I had spent a few hours conditioning flowers beforehand. Conditioning is a term that a florist uses when describing how they prepare their flowers for sale or use. It’s really simple but before I talk to you about conditioning here is what we made.


As soon as you get home with your flowers or if you’re lucky enough to have picked them from your garden, strip all the foliage that is going to be sitting below the water line to prevent the leaves from rotting in the water.

Cut about 2.5cm off all the stems with a sharp clean knife, scissors or secateurs at an angle. The angle helps the stem to be able to take up more water. If I’m preparing Roses I also slice off their thorns with a knife in an attempt to keep my hands in one piece.

Place prepared stems in a tall bucket of luke warm water between a 1/3 and 1/2 full with some flower food solution (flower food will help prevent bacteria) and leave in a cool place for at least two to three hours or ideally overnight. This will allow the flowers to drink before being brought into a warmer environment. If you see that any leaves or petals have fallen into the bucket of water fish them out straightaway. Make sure your buckets have been freshly cleaned to prevent bacteria and are tall enough to support the flower heads whilst they’re drinking.

Once you’re ready to use your flowers always clean your vase/container thoroughly with detergent and a bottle brush.
In the vase dissolve some more flower food in the water before placing the flowers.
Check the water level every couple of days and top up as necessary.

Change the water and re-cut the base of the stems every two to four days, re-cutting a little off the bottom of the stem each time
Remove any dead or dying flowers to keep the arrangement looking fresh for longer.
Position the vase in a cool shady spot in the room away from any source of heat such as radiators and fires.
Different stem types have slightly different conditioning techniques but I’ll talk you through those in a later post.

Have a lovely day x

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    Wild Rubus

    Wadhurst, East Sussex

    Est 2014 | Bespoke Floral Design | Sussex Kent London