The Right Way to Cut a Flower Stem

Sunday Mar 13, 2011

Here is the proper way to cut a flower stem. Many people ask if they have to cut the stems at all, the answer is always Y. E. S. Even if we cut it in the store, the answer is yes. Even if there are water pics on the ends, the answer is yes. Even if you don’t want to, the answer is yes!


  1. Prep your vase before you cut the stems! Add about half a pack of powder to the room temperate water, which should be almost at the top. As with cooking and baking, preparation is key and will make the rest of the job much easier.
  2. Make sure you have a sharp knife or secateurs or at the very least, very sharp scissors: A dull cutting tool will squish the cells at the end of the stem, preventing them from taking up water. This can cause roses with a bent neck, flowers that are shriveled and wilted. This can be remedied by re-cutting with sharp tool.
  3. Cut a bit off end at an angle: The angle makes a larger surface from which the flower can drink, as well as prevents the stem from sitting right on the bottom of the vase.
  4. Get them into the waiting vase pronto! Waiting even a minute can be too long. The stem ends seal up very quickly (1-10 seconds) so all your hard work will have been in vain. You’ll have to cut the stem again.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 in a few days, prepping your vase with fresh clean water.
  6. Enjoy your beautiful, longer-lasting flowers!

A note about bulb flowers (tulips and hyacinths, for example): they don’t like flower powder and prefer cold water.


April 15 2011, 23:02:37


Carole, I didn't realize...! My blog mentioning the penny in the vase trick has already been posted! It's dated March the 23rd...

April 15 2011, 23:00:16


Well Carole, some people swear by it. I believe that it happens, but you have to make sure the penny is very clean, otherwise you'll be dropping all sorts of bacteria into your water! Keep watching for a future post on this very subject!

April 1 2011, 14:47:05

Westmount Florist

Hey Carole, There are many old wives tales out there, with various tricks to keep the stems straight. Because tulips grow in water, it sometimes gives the illusion that they are wilting or drooping. The best thing to do is continuously re cut the stems, change the water and keep your tulips in a cool place. These steps will lengthen your tulips life span and keep them nice and straight. The copper in the penny does make the tulips straighten up...but we would suggest these steps as an alternative!

March 18 2011, 15:22:51


I was told that you should put a penny in the water for each stem of tulip and this will keep them this true ??