13 Long Lasting Cut Flowers

Bring your garden's beauty indoors. Zinnias, glads and other flowers can last for many days when kept in fresh water and floral preservative.
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Photo By: Courtesy Longfield Gardens

Photo By: Image courtesy of TerraNovaNurseries.com

Photo By: Courtesy Longfield Gardens

Photo By: Courtesy Longfield Gardens

Photo By: Courtesy Longfield Gardens

Photo By: Courtesy Longfield Gardens

Photo By: Courtesy Longfield Gardens

Photo By: Image courtesy of Longfield Gardens

Photo By: Design by Main Floral in Anoka, Minn. Photo courtesy BloomNation

Photo By: Courtesy Longfield Gardens


Expect cut peonies to last for about a week indoors. Snip the stems when the buds are tight. The flowers will keep for a short time, if you want to arrange them later, if wrapped in newspaper. Close the newspaper with rubber bands on each end, and store the peonies on their sides in the refrigerator.

‘Tiki Torch’ Coneflower (Echinacea ‘Tiki Torch’)

The world of purple coneflower has expanded to embrace a host of new colors, like the flaming orange of ‘Tiki Torch’. This coneflower brings a spicy scent to the garden. Flowers make a great addition to garden bouquets and beckon butterflies like crazy. Hardy in Zones 4 to 10.

Ranunculus Bouquet

Ranunculus, with their crepe paper-like blooms, can last a week or more in vases. Cut the stems at the base, just above the crown of the plant, and put them in water right away.


Snip alliums early in the day, when no more than half the florets are open, for the longest-lasting blooms. Some alliums ooze a clear fluid that turns red and may stain, so be careful when handling the cut stems.

Cut Lilies

Showy lilies, with their trumpet-shaped blooms, make elegant arrangements. Cut the stems just before the buds open, when the flower color is just beginning to show.

Calla Lilies 'Ruby Sensation' and 'Natural Bouquet'

Calla lilies like these - 'Ruby Sensation' and 'Natural Bouquet' - have a vase life of 5 to 7 days if the stems are cut on a 45-degree angle and kept in water mixed with floral preservative. Re-cut the stems every 2 or 3 days, refreshing the water and preservative. The blooms bruise easily, so be careful when handling them.

Gladiolus as Cut Flowers

For the longest-lasting arrangements, cut tall, elegant gladiolus when a few of the buds are no more than half open. Then put the stems in warm water in a cool, dark location for a few hours before moving them into water mixed with floral preservative. For best results, use water that doesn't contain fluoride; glads are sensitive to this chemical.


Perennial mums that look like cheerful daisies come in a rainbow of colors. Use sharp tools to cut the blooms just before they're fully open, and put the stems in warm water to help them last for days.

Freesia 'Pink'

Citrusy-scented freesias can last up to 12 days after cutting (they may not last as long in your vase if you purchased already-cut flowers, instead of bringing them in from your garden). Give them room temperature water.


Versatile alstroemeria come in a variety of colors. The cut flowers absorb a lot of water, so replenish your vase often. Remove blooms from the stems as they fade, and your arrangement can last up to 2 weeks.


Carnations have a long shelf life after cutting. Shown here with calla lilies, green button pompom mums, and roses, this arrangement should last two weeks.


Dahlias are exceptionally longest-lasting cut flowers. The buds won't open after they're cut, so wait until they're almost open, or fully open, before snipping. Then re-cut the stems after you bring them in, and put them in 2 inches of hot water for an hour. Take them out, remove any leaves that will be below the water line, and move them to a vase of fresh, cool water.

Cherry Zinnias

Zinnias are a classic choice for cutting. The blooms will last for days if you place the stems in a bucket of cold water as soon as you cut them in the garden. Then take them indoors and re-cut them underwater, at a 45-degree angle, before putting them in a vase filled with water and floral preservative.

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