Prolong the life of your freshly cut flowers by taking a tip from the florists and putting them in cold storage. Refrigerating flowers after cutting slows down their metabolism rate which delays the time which they wilt and die, according to Iowa State University. Michigan State University instructs their florists in training to keep flowers in a cooler between 34 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit, which closely matches the refrigerator at home. Just as fruit can rot faster at room temperature, so can flowers. Keeping your arrangements properly chilled will extend the life of the flowers up to 75 percent, according to Iowa State University.
Hold the cut end of the flower stem under warm water in a shallow bowl and make a cut off the bottom 1 inch from the base of the stem at an angle using a sharp knife.
Pick any leaves that will sit below the water level in the vase off the flower.
Set the flowers into a vase of water for one hour at room temperature to hydrate the flowers.
Transfer the hydrated flowers in the vase to the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
Mix the warm water and floral preservative together according to the preservative's package instructions.
Create a floral arrangement in a new vase with other flowers, using water with floral preservative mixed. Return the new arrangement to the refrigerator for long-term storage.