Keeping Roses Alive & Happy
A cut rose can last longer than you think. The important factors:
Water uptake – keep it happening!
Temperature – cooler is better.
- A clean vase to begin
- Flower food
- Remove foliage below water line
- Cool location
- Recut stems every 2-3 days
- Change water when you recut
Thorny Nightmares to Avoid!
- Dirty vase
- Rotting leaves in the water
- Nasty water in vase
- Hot location atop TV, heater, fridge
- Boiling hot sun on flowers
- No water in vase – forgot to refill!
Dirt in the water causes plugging. So do air pockets and bacteria. Changing the water in the vase every two or three days eliminates dirt that can physically plug the tiny capillaries in the stems. Roses and most other cut flowers have tiny plumbing systems in their stems. The goal is to keep that system open and water coming up.
Recutting the stems eliminates air pockets from the system. Be sure to put the rose into the clean water immediately after you recut or air will get in and keep the water from coming up.
Flower food helps prevent bacteria growth. It also feeds the flower which encourages it to grow and open up.
Rose leaves are good as long as they are not in the water. When they are out in the air they emit water vapor through tiny pores (stoma). This pulls water up through the stem.
Cutting stems underwater? OK but not vital. Just put them in water immediately after cutting.
Cut stems at an angle? The rational for this is to keep the stem from plugging when it rests flat on the bottom of the vase. Sounds great to us, but any fresh cut you make in the stem is better than not recutting at all!
Warm water in the vase? This helps to open flowers up faster. It’s not necessary unless you need them open in a hurry for a special event.
Put them in the fridge? Home refrigerators are difficult because we often keep fruit in there. Ripening fruit emits ethylene gas and will definitely shorten flower life. Don’t put your roses near bananas or other fruit on the kitchen counter, either.
Aspirin, 7-Up, etc.? If it makes you feel better! The roses prefer flower food. We think clean fresh water is great too. Maybe save the aspirin for your next headache…