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  • 7 min read

How To Preserve Fresh Flowers In A Refrigerator: 4 Surprisingly Easy Steps!

Struggling to figure out how to preserve fresh flowers? You’ve probably tried and tested out all the popular methods. Cutting off a part of the stems, replacing the water in the vase, keeping it away from sunlight — the works. But still, after a few days, your flowers seem to be in no better shape. 

But what if you kept your flowers inside the fridge? Will this maintain their freshness for much longer? The simple answer is yes, but there are several exceptions. Flowers that bloom best in tropical climates, for example, won’t fare well with a bit of fridge treatment. Jasmines, bougainvillaeas, and birds of paradise are all better off in outdoor conditions, under ample sunlight and scheduled watering. 

However, rose bouquets, hydrangeas and peonies present an altogether different story. If you’ve received a bunch of these florals or want to save a bouquet for a later occasion, below are a few tricks ton how to keep flowers fresh longer.

Why Store Flowers In A Fridge?

Florists worldwide have advised that keeping flowers inside a fridge is one of the best ways to keep them in good shape. After they’re picked, the flowers will last only for several days. Part of the reason cut flowers wilt much faster is the lack of moisture and exposure to bacteria. Unless you’re trying to make dried flowers, this isn’t what you want.

Instead, you’ll want to place them in a cool area, like a fridge, where the flowers remain undisturbed. Doing this will help slow down the wilting process and retain much of the flowers’ moisture, keeping them vibrant and crisp. Here’s how to keep flowers fresh inside the fridge:

Step 1: Fill A Vase With Cool Water

Though your bouquet may come in a finely-crafted packaging, you’ll want to remove the flowers from it first before arranging them in a vase. Long-stemmed flowers like daisies, tulips, or baby's breath will need to be taken out of the packaging. But you can skip this step for small flowers or bouquets meant for formal occasions. 

Next, choose a vase to store loose flowers. As much as possible, choose a dark and opaque vase. If selecting a transparent vase, ensure you put it away from any direct lighting sources during the final floral arrangement. 

Step 2: Remove Fresh Fruits And Vegetables From The Fridge

how to keep fresh flowers longer

Next is an essential step — remove all fresh fruits and vegetables from the fridge, mainly where you’ll store the flower vase. If you can’t totally remove them, place them in a separate compartment away from the flowers. 

Some fruits, like bananas and apples, tend to release high levels of ethylene. Ethylene gas speeds up ethylene production in neighbouring flowers, thus resulting in a faster rate of ageing or withering. 

For smaller fridges, it’s recommended to place the fruits temporarily in airtight containers. As a precaution, store them in a different location in the freezer.

Step 3: Set The Temperature Of The Fridge

Change the fridge temperature and set it between 1 to 5°C. Place the flower vase neatly inside the vegetable compartment and let them sit for about 3 to 12 hours, or overnight.

To avoid stray flowers or stems, you may bunch up your flowers and tie them loosely with a string before placing the blooms in the fridge. Clean the compartment beforehand, ensuring there aren’t any stains or liquids that can seep into the petals. For an added precaution, layer a sheet of parchment paper before setting the flowers. 

Step 4: Arrange The Fresh Flowers In A Vase

keeping fresh flowers longer in a vase

After 12 hours or so, it’s time to make the final arrangements. Take out the flowers from the fridge. Follow basic care instructions for picked flowers, such as cutting the stems at a 45-degree angle under running water and organising them neatly in the vase.

More Methods On How To Keep Flowers Fresh Longer

Applying other methods to preserve fresh flowers ensure these vibrant blooms maintain their freshness and aesthetic appeal for as long as possible, especially in Singapore's humid climate.

Here are other effective methods to preserve fresh flowers, ensuring they continue to convey heartfelt congratulations and vibrant well-wishes well beyond the special day:

1. Watering and Misting

Regular watering and occasional misting keep flowers like orchids and ixora vibrant and fresh. The high humidity in Singapore makes misting particularly beneficial, helping mimic their natural tropical environment. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Daily Water Checks: Ensure the water level in vases is sufficient and explicit. Change the water every two days to prevent bacterial growth.
  2. Mist Flowers: Lightly mist the petals and leaves of flowers like orchids and ixora every morning, especially in air-conditioned or dry environments, to mimic their natural humid habitat.
  3. Cut Stem Ends: Before placing flowers in water, cut about half an inch off the stem at a 45-degree angle to enhance water absorption.

2. Use Flower Preservatives

Adding flower preservatives, also known as flower food, helps nourish the flowers and prevent bacteria growth. Flower preservatives can be bought or made at home using ingredients like sugar and vinegar added to water. Flower preservatives can prolong the vibrancy of blooms like jasmine and frangipani. Here’s how to use them:

  1. Prepare Solution: Mix two tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of bleach per quart of warm water. This homemade preservative feeds the flowers, keeps the water clear, and prevents bacterial growth.
  2. Change Solution Regularly: Replace the preservative solution every two days to ensure it remains effective.
  3. Trim Stems: Each time you change the water, re-trim the stems to help them absorb the fresh preservative solution better.

3. Proper Trimming

Cutting the stems at a 45-degree angle every few days helps improve water absorption, ensuring that flowers like lotus and water lilies remain hydrated and fresh. Proper trimming allows for thick-stemmed flowers to maximise their longevity. Here’s how to cut your stems properly:

  1. Trim Under Water: To prevent air bubbles from forming inside the stems, which can block water absorption, trim the stems underwater before placing them in the vase.
  2. Remove Lower Leaves: Strip leaves below the waterline to prevent rot and bacterial growth.
  3. Re-cut Stems: Every few days, remove the flowers from the vase, clean it, fill it with fresh water, and re-cut the stems at a 45-degree angle before placing them back.

4. Avoiding Direct Sunlight

Keeping flower arrangements away from direct sunlight helps prevent them from wilting and losing their vibrant colours. The right amount of sunlight is extremely important for flowers used in grand opening ceremonies, where maximum prominence and visual appeal are desired.

Avoid too much sunlight by following these steps:

  1. Strategic Placement: Keep your flower arrangements in a cool, shaded area away from direct sunlight and appliances that generate heat.
  2. Rotate Arrangements: Regularly rotate the position of the flower stand or vase to ensure even exposure and prevent one-sided wilting.
  3. Use UV Protective Spray: For more extended events, consider using a UV protective spray on the flowers to help prevent fading and dehydration from sunlight.

5. Drying and Pressing

Techniques such as drying and pressing are not just for preserving memories but can also be a creative way to repurpose the congratulatory flower stands and arrangements from the opening ceremony. Drying and pressing is suitable for almost all types of flowers, turning them into lasting mementoes for special occasions. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Air Drying: Hang bouquets upside down in a dry, warm, and dark place for a couple of weeks until or completely dry.
  2. Pressing: Place individual flowers between two sheets of parchment paper within a heavy book. Stack additional books on top and leave them undisturbed for a few weeks.
  3. Silica Gel: For flowers you wish to maintain shape and colour, bury them in a container of silica gel for a week or more, depending on the flower's density.

6. Silica Gel Drying

Silica gel absorbs moisture quickly and can dry flowers while preserving their shape and colour. Silica gel drying is excellent for delicate flowers like orchids and jasmine, which might otherwise lose their form through traditional drying methods. Here are the steps:

  1. Prepare Flowers: Trim stems and remove any unwanted leaves.
  2. Fill Container: Cover the bottom of an airtight container with a layer of silica gel.
  3. Position Flowers: Place flowers face-up on the silica gel gently sift more gel over the petals and between the leaves until the flowers are completely covered.
  4. Seal and Wait: Seal the container and store it in a dry place. Check small and more prominent flowers after a few days in a week or more.
  5. Remove and Dust Off: Gently remove the flowers and use a soft-bristled brush to get rid of excess silica gel.

Choosing from several preservation techniques ensures that the opening flowers used in launching ceremonies in Singapore maintain their beauty and significance longer.

Conclusion On How To Preserve Fresh Flowers

Now that you’ve learned how to preserve flowers fresh in a fridge, you can do it on your own. Keeping flowers in the fridge may be unorthodox, but it’s certainly effective. Whether you want a gift bouquet to last a little longer or want a set of healthy flowers to display indoors, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give this a try.

Windflower Florist aims to inspire a floral-centric lifestyle for everyone. Each day, we strive to bring you only the freshest bundles and heartfelt presents that remain timeless and unforgettable. Buy a special flower arrangement from us now! We cater to all occasions, promising nothing less than quality and craftsmanship. 

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Preserve Fresh Flowers

Can You Store Cut Peonies In The Fridge?

Absolutely! For home use, remove the fresh peonies from the original packaging and tie them together in a bunch with a loose thread or adhesive. Clean out your fridge’s vegetable compartment and store the flowers inside overnight or for half a day.

How Do You Keep A Bouquet Of Flowers Fresh?

After receiving a gift of flowers from a loved one or someone special, keep it fresh by:

  • Cutting off a small part of the stem.
  • Transferring the bunch into a vase filled with clean water.
  • Placing it as a centrepiece or room decor, away from direct sunlight.

Can I Put Sugar In The Flower Vase?

Sugar acts as “food” for the flowers, increasing their weight and making them last longer. Mix in about 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per 1 Litre of water. Pour the water into the vase until it is ¾ full.

Can I Use Vinegar To Keep Flowers Fresh?

Yes. Vinegar prevents bacterial proliferation, allowing your flowers to stay alive for much longer. It does this by helping to lower the water’s pH level, which will increase its acidity and make it difficult for bacteria to thrive. 


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