When we find ourselves with beautiful flower arrangements on our hands, it’s only natural that we want to preserve them for as long as possible. Ordinarily, cut flowers last longer in cold conditions. Such conditions prevent their early aging and can prolong their lives. Enter the fridge!
If cold conditions are what flowers need to live on for as long as possible, then surely the fridge is the best possible place to store them when they’re not on show. It’s this idea that I’ll be covering below.
So, how long can flowers last in the fridge? Storing your flowers in the fridge can increase their overall lifespan to 14 days (from the typical 7 days), if not slightly longer. However, factors such as fridge temperature and contents and the type of flowers you are trying to preserve may impact their longevity.
Read on to explore each of these variables further, the types of flowers that tend to do best in the fridge, those that don’t, and tips for maximum fridge flower longevity!
- 1 Factors That Impact How Long Flowers Will Last In The Fridge
- 2 Flowers That Typically Last Longer In the Fridge
- 3 Flowers That Typically Don’t Last As Long In The Fridge
- 4 How To Ensure Your Flowers Last When Kept In The Fridge
Factors That Impact How Long Flowers Will Last In The Fridge
How long your flower will last in the fridge is primarily dependent on what type of flower it is.
Whilst most flowers enjoy the cool conditions that a fridge provides, others don’t so much.
Whilst flowers on the delicate end of the spectrum, such as peonies and dahlias, may benefit from a bit of fridge time, there are plenty of flowers that are just fine without it.
Chrysanthemums, carnations, and orchids spring to mind. Each of these flowers has pretty lengthy vase-lives as it is and arguably doesn’t need the extra help.
Plus, some flowers, such as sunflowers, are so resilient that they can withstand heat pretty well.
Finally, flowers with sizable blooms, such as certain varieties of poppies and lilies, are simply too big for most fridges.
It’s difficult to store them in a fridge without jeopardizing them physically, and for this reason, they are often better off without them.
If you’re aiming to prolong the life of your flowers, it’s important to get the temperature inside the fridge right.
The ideal fridge temperature for flowers is between 0.5°C and 3°C.
This is the temperature of most florist coolers, so it’s only right that we mimic it in our own homes.
If your fridge temperature is substantially less cold than what is recommended, it’s probably not worth storing your flowers in it, as any effect on their lifespan will be relatively minimal.
If you’re contemplating storing your flowers in the fridge, it’s important to take inventory of what surrounds them.
Essentially, these should be kept well away from ripened fruit and vegetables.
Reason being these foods give off a gas called ethylene.
Don’t worry! The gas isn’t harmful to humans.
But it’s certainly detrimental to our floral friends. In fact, rather than prolonging their life, a fridge full of ripe fruit and veg will significantly shorten it.
Flowers That Typically Last Longer In the Fridge
There’s no debating that tulips are a tremendously popular household flower.
They come in beautiful colors, have a silky texture, and are quite simply a delight to look at.
However, they bloom in springtime but thrive in cool weather.
So, when they’re cut and inside our homes, particularly if our homes are on the warm side, it’s best to find the tulips in a cool location.
Well, what better place than the fridge?! Provided the conditions are right, all it takes is 6-8 hours of overnight storage, and you could potentially see the lifespan of your tulips go from a mere five days to fourteen!
Peonies are another fridge favorite! With an exceptionally short vase life of just 5 days, overnight storage in the fridge can help to keep your peonies around for longer whilst looking no less fresh and beautiful.
Although first, it’s recommended to store them in the fridge before they’ve even bloomed.
This can preserve them for weeks or even months provided they’re sealed tightly, stored horizontally, and the fridge conditions are optimal.
When you’re ready to bring them out into the world, simply remove the seal, cut their stems at a 45-degree angle, and place them in water.
From then onwards, you can elongate their vase life by refrigerating them on a nightly basis. In doing so, you’ll double their shelf life!
Flowers That Typically Don’t Last As Long In The Fridge
Hydrangeas are the perfect Summer floral. They’re large, dramatic, and a sure statement in any home!
However, it’s important to note that no aspect of their brilliant aesthetic can be attributed to fridge magic!
In fact, hydrangeas don’t enjoy the moist conditions of a fridge in the slightest.
The condensation simply doesn’t agree with their blooms and can actually be more detrimental than helpful.
Instead, if you find that your hydrangeas are drying up and dying too quickly, along with trimming their stems to keep them as healthy as can be, it might be a good idea to momentarily submerge them in water.
Quite uniquely, their petals absorb water, so this is a quick and easy solution to offer them the all-around hydration that they so badly require.
For best results, submerge your hydrangeas for no longer than 40 minutes.
Whilst cut amaryllis flowers thrive in cool rooms, just as most flowers do, the fridge is a proven unsafe environment for them.
Essentially, it’s just far too cold of an environment. Amaryllis are originally tropical flowers.
They’re used to humidity and heat, and it’s similarly sunny conditions that they fare well in even when they’re cut.
Provided their soil is moist and well-drained, they’re more than happy to get a good daily sunlight fix as long as it’s not too warm in the room.
Only then will their flowers bloom at their very best and become the biggest and brightest that they possibly can.
How To Ensure Your Flowers Last When Kept In The Fridge
First and foremost, the most important way to ensure that our flowers last when kept in the fridge, is to first ensure the fridge is up to scratch.
This means that its temperature should fall within the recommended range of 0.5°C to 3°C and that there should be any ripe fruit or vegetables in the fridge either.
However, whilst refrigerating your cut flowers before or after they’ve bloomed can prolong their life, the fridge won’t suffice on its own.
There are several other measures you’ll need to take to keep your flowers as clean and healthy as can be for as long as possible.
For ease, I’ve outlined these below for you.
Water Them Enough
It goes without saying that watering your flowers is key.
It’s no good refrigerating them and plonking them back into the same old vase of water.
They’ll need a water change every couple of days to ensure that any bacteria lingering in the water is minimized.
Only then can their stems keep clear and absorb clean water, in turn keeping the flowers hydrated and happy.
Additionally, if the flowers have any foliage, make sure that it doesn’t fall beneath the water line when in the vase.
When leaves, whether on or off the flowers, are exposed to the vase water, there is a high risk that they’ll begin to rot and cause the emergence of bad bacteria.
This bacteria can be fatal for your flowers and cause them to die well before their time.
Provide Plant Food
It’s also a good idea to feed your flowers.
Often, bouquets come with flower food, but if not, it’s easy enough to make your own or pop to the local garden store and grab some.
The ingredients are super straightforward and provide your flowers with the necessary fuel whilst simultaneously reducing any unwanted bacteria that may be present in the vase water.
When your flowers aren’t in the fridge, it’s important that the cool room you keep them in isn’t one of dry air.
Flowers love humidity. The extra moisture keeps them hydrated and prevents them from discoloring, wilting, and, ultimately, withering away.
You could purchase a humidifier to help you out. Humidifiers work by blowing water vapor into the air.
Simply plug it in, fill it with water, and it will do all the work for you.
Or, if you’re not yet ready to commit to a humidifier, you could mist your plants.
However, this is a manual job and a temporary one. Frequent resprays will be necessary for best results.
The Temperature of the Room
Finally, remember to keep the temperature of whichever room the flowers will live in nice and cool.
There’s no need to strive for fridge-like temperatures.
Rather, moderately cool should do it.
Nonetheless, it’s just as important to avoid cold drafts, too, so don’t store your flowers too close to your windows and doors during winter months.
Other guides you may want to check out:
- How Long Will Flowers Last In The Cold?
- How Long Can Flowers Last In A Vase?
- How Long Can Flowers Go Without Water
- How Long Can Flowers Last In A Car?
Hey there – I’m Jesse, a professional florist, and gardening enthusiast. I created MyGardenFlowers to share all that I can about the flowers that I have planted and managed to grow in my garden.