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Determining the effectiveness of sugar as preservatives for flowersFeatured science projectScience project video


The objective of this science fair project is to determine the effectiveness of using sugar to preserve and keep the flowers fresh for longer periods of time. The experiment will be carried out using flowers such as the rose, carnations and lilies, and water containing different amounts of sugar


Flowers that are in contact with a more concentrated sugar solution will be able to last longer.

Scientific Terms

Psychological, nutrition, bacteria, contamination, aspirin


Keeping flowers fresh

"Beautiful" and "sweet-smelling" are two common terms that describe fresh flowers, and explains why so many of us like to place flowers in our homes. Having flowers in our homes adds color and a soft touch. In addition, the presence and scent of flowers gives us a psychological boost making us feel happier and livelier. Flowers certainly do help brighten up our day. However, fresh cut flowers do not last long as they  typically wilt after a few days.

There are a few ways to help flowers stay fresh for longer periods of time, once they are cut. One method is to cut the stem of the flower at an angle with a sharp knife and immediately placing the cut flower in lukewarm water. Cutting a flower stalk at an angle exposes more of the stem, allowing for a larger surface area to come in contact with water. Leaves that are under water should be removed. Interestingly, the removal of rose thorns will hasten the wilting process of roses.

Another commonly used method is to add sugar and vinegar to water. Sugar is thought to provide the nutrition required by the flower, while a few drops of vinegar helps prevent bacteria from contaminating and reproducing in the sweetened water.

Commercially made flower food is also effective in keeping flowers fresh and last longer. Other methods such as adding an aspirin or bleach are also believed to help keep flowers fresh longer.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
Preparations of the experimental setup will take approximately one day, after which observations will be carried out over a period of ten days
Material availability:
Easily found at a florist
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements