Flower Vase Life

Flowers -Vase Life in Your Home

At Grower Direct one of the questions we hear frequently from our customers is How long will my flowers last? A simple question, without a simple answer. Flower vase life depends on many, many factors, some which are in our control (ours and yours) and some which are not.


All varieties of a particular flower will not necessarily last the same amount of time.

The best example of this is probably also one of the more commonly known flowers, the rose. The rose is generally viewed as one flower type that is available in a wide range of colours, whereas the truth is each colour is an individual variety with it’s own unique characteristics. Along with the differences in colour, petal count, fragrance, comes vast differences in vase life ( vast being a relative term as flower vase life tends to be measured in days). Although we strive to select varieties of flowers with the best all around characteristics the simple truth is that generally a red rose will far outlast a white one.

  • The growers methods as well as the actual growing conditions play a role in vase life.

    Case in point, two roses of the same variety can and generally will exhibit different vases life if they are grown in different climates (consistently sunny versus cloudy, dry weather versus damp), or at varying altitudes (say sea level versus 4000 feet above sea level), or in different growing mediums (soil versus hydroponically). As well “Cut Point” (the point in a flowers growth cycle it is cut from the plant) and initial “post-harvest” care both play roles in a flowers eventual vase life. At Grower Direct we carefully select our growers so that we are working with those that we believe are the “best of the best”. This selection process goes a long way to ensuring that our flowers provide our customers with the best quality, selection, and potential vase life possible.

  • The amount of time spent and the conditions that flowers experience while in transit from the farm to the customer (end user).

    Under absolutely idea conditions a flower would go immediately from the cut at farm level straight to the end user, with a delay of only minutes or hours between. Unfortunately unless you are picking flowers straight from your own garden this is not likely to occur. The reality in today’s world is flowers tend to be grown in regions of the world that are best suited for this purpose (Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Africa) and in many cases are far removed from the retail market the end user is in. This means that they have travel great distance to reach the local flower shop. There are a number of factors during transit that play critical roles in eventually determining a flowers vase life.

    Time in Transit, the faster product goes from farm to consumer the better. At Grower Direct we endeavour to ensure that our flowers get from the farms to our flower shops as quickly as possible. Our transportation of flowers is the envy of most of our competitors.

    Transit Environment, flowers like produce need to be kept refrigerated with an ideal temperature of 33º – 36º F and a relatively high humidity. In addition flowers should never be exposed to Ethylene Gas as this can be very detrimental.

    At Grower Direct we have gone to greats lengths to build and maintain a transportation system ideally suited for flowers. We truly believe this is one of the keys to our success and allows us to bring  fresh flowers to our customers days (and sometimes weeks) sooner than our competitors. Read More…

  • Post Harvest Care Treatments

    Between the time a flower is initially cut at the farm and when it reaches the consumer it will be subject to a number of post harvest care treatments designed to maintain it’s freshness and to extend its vase life. Each step is critical to ensure maximum longevity and enjoyment of the flowers by the end user.

    Farm Level, typically a hydration formula to lower the pH and increase the speed of flower hydration is used in combination with a low dose flower food that provides the appropriate amount of nutrients (much lower than later post harvest care) to inhibit premature bud opening and bent neck in flowers. This helps keep the flower stem’s “plumbing” free flowing allowing it to take up more water for the journey ahead.

    Grower Direct Store, a balanced formula similar to farm level product. The goal is to ensure hydration, prevent bacteria growth, and provide a limited amount of nutrients while in our stores cooler. Nutrient levels are lower to prevent accelerating the opening and life cycle while in the store, something that we want to happen in our customers homes where it can be enjoyed.

    Consumer Level, a formula designed specifically for the end user. Grower Direct Fresh Flower Food is available in 10 gram packages which is  the perfect amount for 1 litre of water. It is designed ensure continuing hydration, prevent bacteria growth, draw out salt, dirt, and debris in the water, and has a higher level of nutrients to “wake up” flowers (encourage bloom opening) in your home or office. The end user plays a critical role in ensuring maximum vase life.

  • Display Environment

    Where flowers are displayed by the end user will also have an impact on vase life. Things to avoid are direct sunlight, warmer or high temperatures, exposure to Ethylene gas, and lack of water.

So, having said that lets get back to the original question….. How long will my flowers last? Here is a chart that give some indication of the variance of vase life between different flowers. This data has been developed by scientific research in laboratory settings, so as you can appreciate it may not be 100% applicable in the “real world” (homes, offices, hospital rooms, etc.) where conditions are not so tightly controlled. However it is a great tool in determining what a particular ideal vase life might be & which flower should be the longer lasting one.


Cut Flower
Optimum Vase Life In Days
Ethylene Sensitive
Cut Flower
Optimum Vase Life In Days
Ethylene Sensitive

Agapanthus6-12Extremely Montbretia7-14Moderately
Alstoemeria (Peruvian Lily)6-14VariesNarcissus (Daffodil/Jonquil)4-6Moderately
Anthurium10-45SlightlyNarcissus (Paper-White)5-8Moderately
Baby’s Breath (Gypsophillia)5-10+ExtremelyNerine6-14Slight/Mod
Bird of Paradise7-14NoOncidium10-14No-Slightly
Calla Lily4-8SlightlyPhalaenopsis (Orchid)20-30Mod/Ext
Carnation /Mini Carnation6-14+ExtremelyPincushion8-16No
Chrysanthemum / Sprays7-14+NoPoppy5-7No
Cymbidium (Orchid)7-28Mod/ExtremePro tea8-16No/Mod
Dahlia4-10ExtremelyQueen Anne’s Lace3-5Extremely
Freesia4-12ModeratelyRose (Garden)4-12Moderately
Gardenia1-3ModeratelyRose (Spray)4-12Moderately
Gerbera4-14NoRose (Sweetheart)4-12Moderately
Heliconia7-14NoSolidago / Solidaster7-10No
Iris2-6No/ModSweet Pea3-7Extremely
Kangaroo Paws8-25NoTuberose4-10Slightly
Lily (Hybrids)4-11Moderately   
Marguerite (Daisy)4-7No   

Note: The above data is for informational purposes only and in no way represents or implies on the part of Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers a guaranteed vase life on flowers that we sell.