How to Keep Flowers Fresh by Freezing

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Things You'll Need

  • Refrigerated cooler

  • Sponge or scrub brush

  • Dish soap

  • Bleach

  • Hot water

  • Florist’s knife

  • Water-filled buckets and vases

Image Credit: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Flowers are a gift from the earth. They contribute their variety of colors, shapes, sizes and scents to any environment in which they are placed, making it more pleasurable and beautiful. Unfortunately, once they are cut, flowers live for a relatively short amount of time. They begin to wilt and droop within about one week of being cut. One way to prolong their life and maintain their freshness is to store flowers in a refrigerated cooler at a temperature of about 34 degrees Fahrenheit, which is near freezing.

Keeping Flowers Fresh with Cold Temperatures

Step 1

Wash buckets and vases with a sponge or brush, hot water, dish soap, and a splash of bleach. Thoroughly rinse the buckets and vases. Fill them with cool, fresh water.

Step 2

Slice ½ to 1 inch from the bottom of the flowers' stems with a florist's knife immediately before placing them in the water-filled containers.

Step 3

Place the containers of flowers in a refrigerated cooler set to a temperature of 34 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4

Tightly close the door to the refrigerated cooler once the flowers are in and you are out.

Step 5

Store cut flowers in the cooler when they are not in use.


Refrigerated coolers designed especially for flower storage are also called floral coolers. They allow you to adjust the humidity level in the cooler as well as the temperature.

Though the refrigerated cooler should be set to about 34 degrees Fahrenheit, which is close to freezing, you do not want to literally freeze flowers. Do not set the temperature any lower. If flowers freeze to the point where they become stiff to the touch, they will likely appear damaged and wilted once they thaw.

Only cut flowers should be kept in a refrigerated cooler, not flowering plants.

Keep flowers in clean containers and fresh water to prolong their life and maximize their freshness.

It is possible to safely store flowers in your home refrigerator. Keep them in the refrigerator portion of the appliance and not the freezer. Flowers will be damaged if they are actually frozen. Also, keep flowers away from fresh fruits, which release a substance that speeds up their wilting.

To keep flowers fresh during a long drive, transport them in a refrigerated truck or van.

Some flowers, such as tropical varieties from warm climates like Hawaiian gingers and haleconias, do not need to be stored in a cooler.


Rose Brown

Rose Brown began writing professionally in 2003. Her articles have appeared in such Montana-based publications as "The Tributary" and "Edible Bozeman." She earned a bachelor's degree in literature from the University of California at San Diego, and a master's degree in English from Montana State University. Brown has been a professional florist since 1997.