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Fresh Cut Rose Care

Here are some tips to make your fresh cut Rose last longer:

  • Immediately on receipt, open the box and give your Rose attention. If you cannot attend to your Rose immediately, open the box and place it in a cool dark place until you can take a few moments to properly care for it. Place it in the refrigerator (NOT freezer) if you have space.
  • Start by filling a clean vase (disinfected, as germs kill flowers) with water to which a good floral preservative has been added. Using it as recommended will provide additional days of vase life. Avoid using water from a water softener.
  • Remove any leaves that may be under water to prevent decay. When removing leaves and thorns, do not cut through the green bark. Air can enter the water conducting passages through the injuries and restrict water uptake. Bacteria in the water can clog stems.
  • While holding the stem under water in a sink or under running water, cut about one inch off with a sharp knife or shears (preferably disinfected also). DO NOT let the newly cut end dry off before transferring it back to your arrangement or other container. (You only have about two seconds to do this!)
  • Immediately after the stem is cut, place your Rose in a deep vase of warm preservative solution (about 100 degrees F). If possible, leave it in a cool dark room or refrigerator to “condition” for 2 or 3 hours before arranging.
  • If a florist’s porous foam material is used in assembling the arrangement, it is important that it is thoroughly saturated in advance in water containing a floral preservative. Use a vase large enough to keep the entire block of foam submerged. Be sure that the Rose stem is inserted firmly well below the solution level in the container. Do not move the stem end after inserting it into the foam. This may leave an air pocket at the base of the stem.
  • When you arrange it, do not let the Rose lie out on a table. Keep it in your conditioning vase until you place it in your arrangement.
  • Display your fresh cut Rose arrangement in a cool area out of direct sunlight and drafts. Keep your Rose away from the heating and air vents and also never set it on a TV.
  • Roses are thirsty flowers. It is important to check to see that the vase is full and add preservative solution often. Be sure foam materials are completely saturated and the container is full daily.
  • Premature wilting is not a sign that the Rose is old. It usually indicates that air is entrapped in the stem and the preservative solution cannot flow properly up the stem. The end of the stem may be blocked, or look for a cut or scrape in the bark above the water level. Recut the stem above the injured section and then submerge the entire Rose in a basin or shallow pan of warm water (about 100 degrees F). Be sure to keep the stem and head straight. Some florists recommend shaking the Rose gently under water until air bubbles come out of the Rose head. It will usually revive within an hour and can be replaced in the arrangement.
  • Every three days, empty the water, wash your vase, cut the Roses as suggested and put back into the vase as before.

Don’t have floral preservative? Try this recipe (at your own risk):

Add to 1 quart water: 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbs. white sugar 1/2 tsp. household bleach

Or, according to some (use at your own risk), if you run out of flower food, simply add a few tablespoons of 7-UP or Sprite to the water. These beverages contain citric acid which is one of the ingredients contained in a package of flower food.

For more fresh cut flower care and preservation tips, please visit Floral Preservatives. We also have some great general rose care advice at our companion website, Rose Advice.


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