When you get back from the shop or market, take your flowers out of their packaging right away, cut the stems and put the blooms in fresh warm water. Change the water every three days, clean out your vase with bleach and put a small drop of bleach in the water to kill any bacteria. When changing the water, cut the stems on an angle, ideally using a clean, sharp knife. For optimum flowering conditions, keep blooms out of direct sunlight, and away from radiators and other sources of heat.

A Vase. Water. White vinegar and sugar-Combine 1 tsp. of white granulated sugar with 2 TBSP. of white vinegar and one quart of water. Cut flowers love it.

If your flowers came in a basket or other container with foam, add fresh water every day. Immediately remove dead or wilting leaves and stems from fresh flower arrangements. Watch your water. When it gets cloudy it’s time to change it out.

Keep fresh flowers away from drafts and extreme temperatures, which can quickly dry out the flowers and cause wilting. If your flowers came in plastic, remove this as soon as possible. Do not place your arrangement near fruit or in the path of cigarette smoke. The ethylene gas is detrimental to many flower types. Avoid placing flower arrangements in windowsills and other areas with full sun where flowers can wilt due to overheating. Most flowers will last longer under cool conditions.

If you have any woody stems, cut them vertically up the stem so that more water gets to the head of the flower. Any stems below the top of the vase should be stripped of foliage and buds.

These packets typically contain three ingredients: citric acid, sugar, and — believe it or not — bleach. Plants do produce sugar during photosynthesis, but when they’re cut, so are their food pipelines. And since flowers can be collected before they’ve fully developed, they need a little food to bolster their buds. Feeding them sucrose nourishes them, but it also can invite the growth of unfriendly microorganisms. That’s where a biocide like household bleach comes in: It keeps bacteria from clouding up the water and hindering the stems’ water uptake — and making them stink.