5 Simple Ways To Recycle Your Fresh Cut Flowers

Whether selected from your own garden or purchased from a florist, there’s something undeniably beautiful about fresh cut flowers. Always the most perfect blooms, they bring color and a wonderful scent into our lives for a short time.

It’s that last part—the very short period of time they last—that bothers me, though. It seems such a shame to spend all this time and energy growing flowers, just for a few days as a table arrangement or a bridal bouquet.

But maybe cut flowers don’t have to meet their fate so soon. Here are just a few ways that your special occasion flowers can be recycled, upcycled and repurposed so that their joy and beauty stick around as long as possible!

1. Donate Them

This is the simplest way to extend the life of your cut flowers, especially after a wedding or similar large event where you have more arrangements/bouquets than you can give away to friends or family. Retirements homes, homeless shelters, nursing homes and even some independent restaurants are always happy to receive donations of fresh flowers to improve the appearance of their facilities. In fact, if you work out an arrangement with them beforehand, they may even come and pick them up!

2. Dry Them

If you’re looking to recycle a bouquet that had special meaning, you might not want to give them away, and that’s fine too. Drying flowers is a great way to enjoy their benefits long after the freshness has worn away. Properly dried flowers can be used to make your own aromatherapy formulas, popurri blends and even edible embellishments! Check out this Care2 post on How To Dry Flowers And Botanicals to learn more.

3. Press Them

Pressing is a very particular style of drying flowers that allows them to be displayed or incorporated into handmade crafts. All it takes is a few blossoms that are still fairly fresh and a stack of heavy books! Check out this Care2 post on How To Make Beautiful Botanical Art With Pressed Flowers for an easy tutorial.

4. Preserve Them

Professionally arranged wedding bouquets aren’t cheap, so it’s always disheartening to think about tossing them in the trash a few days after the wedding. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy your bouquet indefinitely, you should know there are options, but they too will cost you a little bit.

“If you aim to have your bouquet preserved in its original shape, I suggest either silica-gel drying or freeze-drying, which are done by professional preservationists and will help keep the natural, three-dimensional shape of the flowers. The difference between the two methods is just technical: Silica-gel drying involves burying the flowers in a granular substance until they’re totally dry, while freeze-drying entails slowly dehydrating the blooms in a cold, vacuum-sealed machine. The bouquet is then sealed inside a glass container like a shadow box or a glass dome,” expert florist Eric Buterbaugh told Martha Stewart Weddings.

5. Transform Them

If none of those options appeal to you, consider transforming your special bouquet or flower arrangement into something else altogether. There are several companies who specialize in turning flowers into beautiful beads that then become earrings, necklaces, bracelets that can be worn forever. Check out Blossoms Into Beads and My Flowers Forever Jewelry to learn more about this amazing upcycling process.

What’s your favorite way to make fresh cut flowers last a little bit longer? Share it in the comments!

Image Credit: Thinkstock


natasha p
Past Member 6 days ago


John B
John B10 months ago

Interesting, thanks for sharing the ideas.

Elaine W
Elaine W11 months ago

Interesting possibilities. Thanks.

George L
George Labout a year ago

Thanks for the article.

Philippa Powers
Philippa Powersabout a year ago


Philippa Powers
Philippa Powersabout a year ago

Let's not forget composting them for use as a natural fertilizer.

Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago


Teresa W.
Teresa Wabout a year ago

beautiful photo

natasha salgado
Past Member about a year ago