Which cut flowers last the longest? 5 bouquet ideas that will look fresher for longer

Discover which cut flowers last the longest, plus learn how to extend the life of any bouquet

Hydrangeas in a vase
(Image credit: funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk)

Having stunning floral arrangements and freshly cut flowers around your home is one of life’s simple pleasures. Along with helping to bring some of the outside in, cut flowers also boast a whole load of color and cheer. 

But which cut flowers last the longest? And how long can you expect your blooms to stick around for?

‘The lifespan of a cut flower arrangement varies greatly depending both on the varieties of flowers used and the way in which the flowers were cut and processed,' Kat Aul Cervoni, landscape designer and founder of Staghorn Living and The Cultivation by Kat, tells us. 'But 5-7 days is a good average time to expect [your cut flowers to last].'

However, there are a few varieties that you can enjoy for a whole week and beyond. Keep reading to find out the ones worth hanging on to. 

5 of the longest lasting cut flowers

1. Zinnias


(Image credit: Future)

Zinnias look beautiful in your flower beds, as well as dotted around your home. Plus, they last a relatively long time, for cut flowers. 

'Zinnias usually last about 1 week,' Kat says, but that's not the only good thing about these bright and beautiful florals. Growing your own zinnias will give you a succession of blooms thanks to the fact that they ‘cut and come again’. 

And considering the fact that planting a cutting garden is one of the top flower trends of 2022 – what's stopping you? If there’s one bloom to make sure you save space for both inside and out, it’s a zinnia.

2. Lilies

lilies in a vase

(Image credit: Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk)

Calling all lily lovers: according to Kat, these much-loved flowers can ‘easily last 2 weeks’, particularly Asiatic varieties.

Asiatic varieties still come with the loose trumpet-shaped lilies are best known for, but this variety has the greatest range of colors and a longer bloom time. They're also less heavily scented. There's not much this type of lily can't do. 

Talking of lilies, Cala Lillies are another great choice, as they can last up to two weeks in a vase. 

3. Chrysanthemums

chrysanthemum in a vase

(Image credit: Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk)

Lover of chrysanthemums? Then you'll be pleased to know these flowers are one of the longest lasting blooms you can buy. Just like lilies, Aul Cervoni believes these can last up to 14 days once cut and arranged into a bouquet. 

These retro flowers made a comeback in 2022 and it looks like they're here to stay. One tip to make sure they hang around for even longer? 'I always cut at least 2 inches of the flowers stems off the bottom before putting them in their vase,' Aul Cervoni says. 'This allows for maximum absorption of water right off the bat.'

4. Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria in a vase

(Image credit: funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk)

Coming in an array of colorways, these large florals are relatively easy to grow. They're also relatively easy to keep alive once cut, too. According to Aul Cervoni, they can last up to two weeks and therefore make the perfect addition to any vase or arrangement. 

But, if you find some are wilting rather than flourishing, Aul Cervoni explains, ‘It’s often worth removing spent flowers and allowing the fresher blooms to remain to keep the arrangement going.’

5. Hydrangeas

hydrangeas in a vase

(Image credit: funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk)

‘Hydrangeas are another especially long-lasting cut flower,' Aul Cervoni says. 'They usually last around 10 days, and dry beautifully too for an especially extended vase life.’

These colorful petalled florals love sunshine. So if you have got hydrangeas on display around your home, be sure to choose your sunniest spot to house them, like a sun-filled window ledge to ensure your hydrangeas in a vase last longer. 

How can you make your flowers last longer?

If you’re harvesting flowers from your own garden or buying them fresh from a store, here are some of Aul Cervoni tips: 

Cut flowers in the morning. ’This is when they’ve taken up the most water so are at their freshest,’ Aul Cervoni says. ‘Definitely put stems into clean water asap.'

Also be sure to cut your flowers at the right time in their bloom cycle. 

‘For zinnias, that’s when the top 3-4 inches of stem is firm enough not to wobble when gently shaken, ' Aul Cervoni says. 'For lilies and tulips, that’s before the buds have opened up.

'Whether your flowers are from a shop or your own garden, I also recommend removing most, if not all, of the foliage from the stems. This ensures that the water it takes up is focused on feeding the flower. Always remove any foliage or flowers that are below the waterline in the vase as these will just rot.

'Changing the vase water daily will also help prolong your arrangement's life. The bacteria that begins to grow in old water will make your flowers wilt more quickly. Keep your arrangements away from strong heat sources or air vents as these will dry out delicate petals.

'And lastly, some flowers produce toxic sap when cut that immediately zaps other flowers that share the same vase. 

'Daffodils and narcissus are particularly well-known to do this. Irises and hyacinths can also cause issues with other plants. Try keeping these flowers in a separate vase for 24 hours after cutting before mixing with other varieties as their stems will have started to seal and will slow down on producing the problematic sap.'

Freelance writer

Becks is a freelance lifestyle writer who works across a number of Future's titles. This includes Real Homes, Top Ten Reviews, Tom's Guide, TechRadar and more. She started her career in print journalism at a local newspaper more than 8 years ago and has since then worked across digital and social media for food, fashion and fitness titles, along with home interior magazines. Her own interior style? She's big on creating mindful spaces in every corner of her home. If it doesn't spark joy or happiness, it has no place here. When she’s not writing, she’s reading and when she’s not reading, she’s writing.