Stem Care: Getting the Most out of your Flowers

By doing a bit of extra legwork upfront you can really prolong the life of your blooms.  Today, I’m going to walk you through best practices for cutting your stems and share my favorite tip to keeping your flowers bacteria-free!!  This process works best for soft-stemmed flowers like most of the blooms you’ll pick up from your grocery store.  I’ll put together another post later on how to properly care for hard stemmed flowers/branches as it differs slightly.  When in doubt, this method is a pretty safe bet!


I use a chef’s knife to cut my home arrangements because it’s always handy but if you’ve got shears, this is a great place to use them.

  1. Hold your flowers by your vase to estimate where you cuts need to be made.  Always cut a little less than you think you should.  If you cut too dramatically you can never make the stems longer but if they’re too long you can always cut more off later.
  2. When making your cut, you’ll want to shoot for a diagonal cut rather than straight across. This allows for your flower to suck up the most possible water.  If you cut your stem straight across it might sit flat at the bottom of your vase which makes it tough for your flowers to drink up. Always cut at an angle!!
  3. Use your sharpest knife/set of shears to make your cuts.  If you use super dull scissors it can damage the stem which would make it difficult for the flower to get at that water.  Stay sharp, guys.
  4. Before you begin your arrangement, fill your vase with cool water and just a splash of bleach.  It seems off but using just a touch of bleach will help keep your flowers free of bacteria which just means they’ll last longer and the water won’t start to smell like a swamp after the first day.

Coming up next, I’ll walk you through making a single-flower arrangement.  It’s simple and makes a big statement.  It’s also totally on trend right now.  Jump on the bandwagon, ya’ll :)

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