Rose Care & Handling

Rose Headquarters - Rose Care & Handling

Here is some expert advice on caring for your cut roses in a vase.
Whether you cut them from your garden or buy them from a florist,
these tips will help you make them last and look their brightest
and fullest.

Follow these simple steps to get the maximum vase life and
enjoyment from your fresh cut roses

Watering Roses

Getting your roses into water quickly is the first step in caring for them. Even if you don't have the time to arrange them as you like, it's key that you place them in a container of water. Then, once you have the time, you can make your own beautiful creation in a lovely vase of your choosing for a perfect display.

Roses need fresh, cool water

A clean, healthy vase is essential for the growth of your beautiful roses. Once the vase is cleaned, fill it ¾ full with fresh, cool tap water. The roses will absorb the water, soaking up the nutrients that will travel up to the bloom and create a lively flower. Check the water level every day and add more fresh, cool water as needed.

The importance of flower food for roses

Be sure to give "flower food" to your roses, following the directions listed on the packet. Florists include these packets to keep the water free of bacteria and prolong the life of your flowers.

Flower food contains three essential ingredients that help extend the life of your flowers: a food source for continued flower development, an acidifier to control the pH of the water and a biocide to kill harmful bacteria.

If necessary, you can also make your own "flower food." For the acidifier, just add three teaspoons of non-diet lemon-lime soda and one quart of warm water.

Eliminate sources of bacteria in the water

Before placing the roses into the water, remove any extra foliage that would fall below the water line. Foliage in the water causes bacteria to grow, shortening the life of the roses.

Properly cut your stems

Cutting your roses is not a difficult process but is crucial to maintaining the health of your beautiful roses.

The first step is to remove the flowers from any shipping materials and water tubes they arrived in. Then, cut the stems carefully at an angle, about an inch from the bottom. You should do this while holding the bottom of the stem underwater. Once the stem is cut, place the flowers immediately in the vase.

By cutting the roses at an angle and underwater, the stem will immediately begin to absorb water, preventing air bubbles from forming in the stem that would cut off the natural flow of water to the bloom.


For an optimal vase life of more than seven days, repeat these steps every three days: take the roses out of the vase, clean the vase with hot water and refill the vase with fresh, cool water and flower food. Then cut your stems an inch underwater and place them back in the vase.

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