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  • 6 min read

Preserved Flowers Vs Fresh Flowers: 7 Key Differences

Whether you are decorating your home or presenting a gift to a loved one, deciding between fresh flowers and preserved flowers can be a challenging task.

Fresh flowers are a classic choice that brings a burst of colour and fragrance to any space, while preserved flowers offer the same beauty without needing regular maintenance.

Both options have their benefits and drawbacks; ultimately, the decision falls on your preferences and needs.

This article explores the differences between fresh and preserved flowers, including their appearance, longevity, cost, and environmental impact. By the end, you will better understand which option is right for you.

1. Longevity

blue roses

One of the most significant differences between fresh flowers and preserved flowers is their lifespan. As their name suggests, fresh flowers are freshly cut and alive, and they will begin to wilt and die within a few days to a week. 

Preserved flowers, on the other hand, have undergone a unique treatment process that helps them maintain their appearance and texture for an extended period.

Fresh flowers require consistent maintenance, which includes pruning and changing of vase water regularly to keep them looking fresh and lively. However, even with proper care, their lifespan is limited. 

In contrast, preserved flowers can last months or years with minimal care and maintenance, making them a better option for sustainability.

Preserved flowers are typically treated with a solution that replaces the natural moisture in the plant with a glycerin-based mixture, keeping their shape and colour. This treatment method also ensures that the flowers maintain their softness and delicate texture, making them a popular choice for special occasions and events where longevity is essential.

2. Appearance

When it comes to key differences, fresh flowers and preserved flowers vary in appearance. Freshly cut flowers have a natural, vibrant appearance, and their colours and scents are at their peak.

However, as they age, they lose their freshness, wither, and may even develop an unpleasant odour.

On the other hand, a preserved flower has been treated to maintain a natural appearance for extended periods. Unlike natural flowers, they receive moisture through a solution that maintains their colours, texture, and shape.

Preserved flowers can come in various colours, shapes, and sizes, similar to fresh flowers. It's not uncommon to find preserved roseshydrangeas, peonies, etc. 

Unlike fresh-cut flowers, they can easily be modified to create unique bouquet arrangements and designs. The extensive level of customization makes them an ideal option to use as gift bouquets or decorative centrepieces.

If you prefer a more natural appearance, opt for fresh flowers instead. Their natural fragrance enhances their authentic appearance, and the absence of chemical treatments makes them a more environmentally friendly option.

3. Maintenance And Care

preserved fresh flowers

As previously mentioned, fresh flowers could only last up to a week and a half.. Fresh-cut flowers can wilt faster because they're not getting enough nutrients as they would have if they remained in the soil or in another substrate.

This makes fresh flowers require hardier environmental conditions than preserved ones. Changing of vase water frequently and cool temperature must be ensured to avoid accelerated wilting and decay.

Meanwhile, preserved flowers require minimal maintenance and care. Once treated, they can last for months or years without watering or pruning. They're an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy the beauty of flowers without the hassle of regular maintenance.

Many, however, prefer fresh flower bouquets, over preserved ones. They make perfect, meaningful gifts for Valentine's, Mother's Day, or any occasion.

4. Environmental-Friendliness

No matter the choice, fresh or preserved flowers have different environmental impacts. Non-locally grown fresh flowers require a significant amount of energy to be transported. This can contribute to high greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Additionally, using pesticides and fertilisers in the growing process can negatively impact soil and water quality.

Meanwhile, preserved flowers are considered more environmentally friendly. They do not require ongoing energy consumption or the use of pesticides or fertilisers.

But there are environmental drawbacks to preserved flowers too. Preserving flowers generally involves using chemicals like glycerin-based solutions, silica gel, dyes, fungicides, formaldehyde, and other treatments.

5. Cost

red rose

The price of preserved and fresh flower bouquets is affected by several factors. For instance, fresh flowers not grown locally can be pricier due to transport costs. They also need frequent maintenance and care.

Seasonality and availability can also affect the price of fresh flowers. It's common to find fresh flowers much more expensive during certain times of the year.

As for preserved flowers, they are more cost-effective in the long run. The price of preserved flower arrangements (e.g bouquets and domes) may be higher at times, but they have a better value over time because they do not require regular care. 

Unlike fresh flowers, preserved ones are not affected by seasonality. And this suggests you can buy your favourite preserved buds all year round without significant price changes.

Ultimately, the price difference between preserved/dried flowers vs fresh flowers depends on type, seasonality, and desired aesthetic.

Those on a budget may find preserved flowers a more affordable option in the long run, while those looking for the natural beauty and fragrance of fresh flowers may be willing to pay more for the experience.

6. Allergens

Freshly-cut flowers can trigger pollen allergies in some individuals. This especially applies to wind-pollinated flowers like daisies.

If you are unsure if your recipient has an allergy when sending flowers, opt for preserved flowers. Through treatment, their pollen is removed, making them a suitable option even for individuals with allergies to real flowers.

However, do take note that preserved flowers can still contain allergens like mould or dust. Some people may also experience adverse reactions to the chemicals used in treating preserved flowers, especially if they have a respiratory problem.

7. Handling And Storage

man wrapping a red rose

Handling and storing fresh and preserved flowers require different approaches due to their unique characteristics.

Fresh flowers are delicate and require careful handling to avoid wilting and damage. They should also be stored in a cool area, away from direct sunlight, heavy wind gusts, and heat sources to prevent wilting and fading.

In contrast, preserved flowers are already dried and have undergone a preservation process that makes them more durable. However, it is advisable to avoid humid areas and environment. Moisture can cause preserved flowers to wilt or become mouldy, so it is recommended to keep them in a dry area.

Conclusion About Fresh Vs Preserved Flowers

There you have it: The differences between fresh and preserved flowers. Depending on your preference, each choice is great as a gift for special occasions or to add a touch of nature to your space.

Windflower Florist is the perfect place to shop if you're looking for a wide selection of fresh and preserved flowers. We have a vast selection of stunning flower arrangements to suit every taste and occasion.

We also offer same-day flower delivery in Singapore, so you can enjoy beautiful flower arrangements without leaving the comforts of your home or office.

Shop now!

Frequently Asked Questions About Fresh Vs Preserved Flowers

What's The Difference Between Preserved And Dried Flowers?

The method of preservation is a crucial difference between preserved and dried flowers. Preserved blooms are treated with a special chemical solution to replace the sap and moisture in the petals. Meanwhile, dried flowers are left to air-dry over time.

Can Preserved Flowers Be Arranged In The Same Way As Fresh Ones?

Yes. They can be arranged in bouquets, centrepieces, and other floral arrangements to create stunning displays lasting for months or even years. However, it's important to remember that preserved flowers may have a different texture or appearance than fresh flowers, so the arrangement may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Can Preserved Flowers Be Rehydrated Like Fresh Flowers?

While preserved flowers may still look beautiful, they should not be treated like fresh flowers and should not be placed in water or misted to try and rehydrate them.

Do Preserved Flowers Have A Scent Like Fresh Flowers?

Preserved flowers may have a faint scent, but they generally do not have the same strong and distinctive fragrance as fresh flowers. The preservation process can alter the scent of the flowers, and some preserved flowers may not have any scent at all. If you're looking for the aroma of fresh flowers, it's best to choose fresh flowers rather than preserved ones.


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