We surveyed 20 flower experts to find out which flowers last the longest after being cut. From longest to shortest lived, here is the definitive list:
- Laceleaf (Anthurium) – 42 days
- Chrysanthemum – 28 days
- Zinnia – 26 days
- Leucadendron – 26 days
- Star of Bethlahem – 25 days
- Allium – 21 days
- Gerbera – 21 days
- Orchid – 21 days
- St John’s Wart (Hypericum) – 18 days
- Hoary Stock (Stock) – 18 days
- Lisianthus – 17 days
- Freesia – 16 days
- Alstroemeria – 14 days
- Birds of Paradise – 14 days
- Larkspur (Delphinium) – 14 days
- Ginger Flower – 14 days
- Lobster Claw (Heliconia) – 14 days
- Lily – 14 days
- Sea Lavender (Limonium) – 14 days
- Sunflower – 14 days
- Thistles – 14 days
- Gladiolus – 13 days
- Rose – 11 days
- Peony – 10 days
- Dahlia – 10 days
- Protea – 8 days
- Ranunculus – 7 days
Photo by Maja Dumat
1/ The Winner: Laceleaf (Anthurium)
Laceleaf will last up to 42 days in a vase. Vaselife varies inversely with flower weight and stem diameter, and although taking care of your flowers always matters, a study by Paull et al. (1992) showed that up to 71% of vaselife was determined at harvest. While not the most beautiful flower on the list by any means, the Laceleaf will surely be the last standing.
After being cut, Chrysanthemums will last up to 28 days in a vase. Rajapakse et al. (1988) showed that under low light typical of most homes, the majority of water loss was through the leaf surface. As a result, anti-transpirants that work by controlling stomata opening will not work with this species. Native to China, Chrysanthemums come in many varieties, of which we’re personal fans of the Spider Mums.
Zinnia will last up to 26 days in a clean vase. Flowers should be harvested when fully open, as the buds will not flower once cut. Some research has suggested that Zinnias may be extra sensitive to cold, so if storing, please avoid temperatures below 5°C.
Photo by Sonny Abesamis
In fresh water, different species of Leucadendron will last from 2 to 6 weeks, with an average vaselife of 26 days. These flowers are harvested when closed, and will open over the following days when placed in water.
5/ Star of Bethlehem
The Star of Bethlehem flower lasts 25 days from being cut. These flowers are phototropic, meaning they will bend towards the light, so pay attention to the orientation of your vase. They are also toxic to cats and dogs, so avoid them if you have pets.
Once trimmed and placed in fresh water, Allium flowers will last up to 21 days. As part of the garlic family, which contain many flowering varieties, Allium is hardy and comes in a number of colours – although the most common are varieties purple and white.
Gerberas last up to 21 days in a clean vase and favour light conditions, including direct sunlight. If storing, note that some gerbera species showing chilling damage, and so should be stored above 4°C. Interesting fact: Brown (1988) showed that this is one of many plants capable of removing air pollutants, such as those found in cigarette smoke, from enclosed (home) environments.
Orchids last up to 21 days once cut. However, their petals are affected by ethylene, so make sure you keep them away from any fruit. They are also very sensitive to the cold, so if storing, please make sure they are in an ambient temperature of greater than 12°C.
9/ St John’s Wart (Hypericum)
In clean water, St John’s Wart (Hypericum) last up to 18 days. Their berries - used as highlights in some of our more creative bouquets - tend to last around 14 days before slightly fading in colour, but remain robust and avoid drooping. These are one of our favourites.
10/ Hoary Stock (Stock)
Hoary stock (better known just as stock), can last up to 18 days from being cut, when kept in optimal conditions. These flowers are harvested while still partially in bud, and will open up over the course of a week once placed in water, making them an ideal flower to bring some dynamics to simpler arrangements.
In fresh water Lisianthus will last up to three weeks, with an average vaselife of 17 days in supplemental light conditions. Flowers are harvested when at least 50% bloomed, as further opening buds is minimal once in water. Some species (such as ‘Lisa’) are geotropic, and will bend away from gravity.
Freesias will last 16 days in the vase and prefer high light environments, so make sure you keep your bouquet in the appropriate part of the house. Harvested when the first flower shows colour, Freesias continue to open up over the course of the first week, adding dynamic interest to any display.
Photo by Ron Cogswell
In a clean vase, Alstroemeria will last up to two weeks. When trimming stems, remove the whitish portion at the end of the stem to increase vaselife, but make sure not to remove excess foliage as this can inhibit water uptake. Alstroemeria are sensitive to ethylene, so make sure you keep fruit and vegetables away from the flowers.
14/ Bird of Paradise
Being a subtropical flower, the Bird of Paradise will last up to 14 days in clean water and should be harvested when the first flower emerges. It can store well for a further two weeks at around 10°C, although requires a 40% sucrose solution for 24 hours for best recovery.
15/ Larkspur (Delphinium)
Delphiniums should last around two weeks in the vase after harvest. For increased vaselife, wash the stems under water before cutting, to reduce the chance of stems getting clogged by excess debris. Because this flower is toxic to cats and dogs, please make sure it is kept out of reach.
16/ Ginger Flower
Ginger flowers can last up to 14 days in water. They grow about a meter tall from the common root ginger, used often in cooking, and prove to be quite hardy. An unusual addition to bouquets despite being one of the most visually pleasing flowers (especially in pink), this has quickly become a favourite at the Floraly offices.
Photo by SKsiddhartthan
17/ Lobster Claw (Heliconia)
Lobster Claw’s last a full two weeks after being cut, with approximately 20 flowers per stalk. Longer stems with large diameters have a longer vaselife, and stems are checked at harvest for insects (such as ants), which often feed on plant exudates, and removed using vapour heat.
Lasting up to two weeks in the vase, Lilies are a favourite among florists. These should be kept in light filled areas when inside – however, please note that the pollen sheds and easily stains. While this can be prevented by removing the stamen, we recommend against this due to resulting shortened vaselife.
19/ Sea Lavender (Limonium)
Sea Lavender last up to 16 days, with most stems lasting a bit over a week once in water. These flowers are particularly happy when given flower food; studies by Reid and Evans (1994) and Doi and Reid (1995) showed a threefold increase when using flower food compared to just water. Even better, they still look lovely once dried.
In a clean vase, sunflowers will last up to 14 days. As the name implies, they should be kept in high light areas and are phototropic (will orient themselves towards the light), so take this into account when placing your vase. Interestingly, sunflowers are actually a “composite” of many individual flowers, with each petal a separate flower in itself.
Cut and in water, thistles and other desert flowers last up to 14 days. Due to their hardy nature, thistles also have the benefit of looking great once they are dried, so they’ll keep your bouquet looking interesting way past their used by date.
Photo by Katja Schulz
Gladiolus will on average 13 days in a clean vase. Some species are sensitive to fluoride found in water, which can result in tip burn; however, we make sure to steer clear of these. Using flower food and trimming the stems every 2 to 3 days can help extend vaselife.
Roses last 1 – 2 weeks in water, with an average vaselife of 11 days. Ideal conditions see roses grown under warmer night temperatures and irrigated with water at or above the ambient temperature, resulting in better opening and increased absorption of flower food. If you need to store roses for any reason, they should be kept in temperatures just above 0°C (but never below), and should last in such a state for up to two weeks. Trim stems every 2 – 3 days once cut for increased vaselife.
Most Peonies will last up to 10 days in fresh, clean water. Peonies should be harvested when the first petal unfurls, allowing the flower to open fully over the next few day in your vase. If storing, keep between 2°C and 5°C, and never store when the petals and / or foliage are wet as Peonies are very susceptible to the fungus Botrytis.
Dahlias have a relatively short vaselife, and last up to 10 days once cut. Typically cultivated as a plug plant (which are grown in individual soil cells and then transplanted elsewhere), Dahlias are easily transported and can be stored for up to 5 weeks in a light filled area. Flowers that are harvested when 50% open respond particularly well to flower food once in the vase.
While some species of Protea can last up to two and a half weeks, most last on average only 8 days once cut and in water. However, they dry well and can add a dynamic point of interest to a well-balanced bouquet. If they must be stored, keep close (but not below) 0°C, in light conditions and with flower food before storage to prevent leaf blackening.
The shortest-lived flower on our list, once cut Ranunculus will last up to 7 days in a clean vase. However, they retain much of their colour once dried, and still make a beautiful addition to any bunch even after they have faded.
Floraly provides Australia’s number one letter-box flowers. All bouquets are packed to order while still in bud, and posted fresh from the grower to your door, giving you flowers that arrive fresher and last longer.