Does Sugar Make Flowers Last Longer

Extend the life of your blooms by adding sugar to arrangements.

Sugar is a natural additive that can be used to keep cut flowers fresh longer. Sugar provides a natural food source, according to Plantea, and helps buds and blooms last longer. You can use table sugar or sodas containing sugar but not diet sodas or cola, according to Mastergardeners. Does this Spark an idea?

Commercial Remedy

Florists often include a small packet of powder containing a biocide, an acidifier and sugar. The biocide helps kill bacteria and fungi, acid encourages absorption and the sugar is food.

Home Remedy

A home mixture recommended by Mastergardeners includes 2 tbsp. of lemon juice (acidifier), 1 tbsp. of sugar (food) and 1/4 tsp. of bleach (bacteria killer) mixed with 1 qt. of warm water.


Sugar cannot be absorbed if a bubble of air or a film of bacteria or a fungus is coating the cut surface. Cut flowers act like a straw, pulling the water up through the stem. If the stem is blocked, the flower will not be able to pull in water or food, causing your display to wilt much faster.


Use a sharp knife instead of a serrated edge to cut your flowers. Cut at a slant to create a larger surface area for water absorption. According to, roses will stay fresh longer if the thorns are not removed. Morning or evening is the best time to cut fresh flowers, which tend to last longer if placed in a cool location away from windows and heat sources.

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