Stretching your dollar on Mother’s Day flowers

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Many of you will be buying mom flowers this weekend and you want them to last as long as possible. Media General Contributors conducted an experiment to find out how to make flowers last.

Many people have their theories on how to extend the life of a flower. We took just a few basic options and put them to the test and we found some fared better than others. Flower food, sugar, aspirin, everyone has their preference to maintain the life of flowers but what actually works?

Fleur De lys florist Jennifer Ford-Chatfield helped us put it to the test. We picked out four sets of the same flower with plans to treat them differently.

“Really what stunts the growth of the flower is the bacteria builds up in the water and essentially seals the pores at the bottom of the flower so they can not effectively drink,” Ford-Chatfield said.

Since bacteria is enemy number 1, for the first set we changed the water everyday, the second got the flower food packet, the third we didn’t do anything to and just for fun the last one gets aspirin tablets.

We gave them a week, away from sunlight in the newsroom. After just a few days, the results started to show. The aspirin seemed to actually kill our flowers faster, the water turned purple. The “set it and forget it” flowers weren’t far behind. We had arguably two winners, flower food and the flowers for which we changed the water everyday.

Ford-Chatfield says changing the water is the key to success, the flower food essentially works to keep your water clean.

“It’s a perishable product, the flowers themselves start a decomposition process,” she said. “The idea of the flower food is to keep the water clearer and slow that decomposition down.”

So, after our experiment we found stretching your flower dollar further may mean changing the water daily. If that’s too time consuming, the flower food is a good second option.

After researching the Aspirin theory, we found some people have had the same results we did but some others have had luck. Could be the amount used, we put two tablets in, where they keep their flowers or the type of flower. So, there are variables to consider but we had fun with this little experiment and maybe it’ll help you this weekend. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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