There is so much varying information out there on caring for your cut roses, some of it is misinformation and you can do more harm to your flowers than good if you do it wrong.  I attended a industry event a while back that was really informative on the care & feeding of roses. The seminar was lead by a scientist from Holland and she dispelled a lot of the myths regarding roses. Here is was I learned from her..

1. You do not need to cut roses under water, it’s a myth.

2. Do not ever leave a rose out of water for more that 2-3 minutes without recutting it. When a rose is out of water it is sucking air up the stem, which will create an air embolism ( an air bubble ) in the stem and cause a blockage and then the rose will not be able to drink water. If you’ve ever received roses only to have them bend at the neck and droop, that is what happened. They weren’t cared for properly when proccessed. You can acutally bring a rose back to life,  that is starting to droop, if you recut it as soon as it starts to happen. Don’t use scissors, or cutters that pinch.

3. Always make sure there is no rose foliage under the water, it breeds bad bacteria and will kill your roses. A drop of bleach in the water will keep bacteria from growing and will not hurt the roses.  If you use the flower food that comes with your roses, it has a bacteria growth inhibitor in it, as well as the food.

4. Keep your roses in a cool place, heat will kill them quickly. You can add a number of days to the life of the rose, if you put it in the garage or outside at night,  Just make sure the temperature isn’t below 34 degrees. Roses can’t handle any freezing.

5. Do not recut your roses, unless you know how to do it properly,  you will kill them.

6.. Roses have what look like a series of drinking straws inside, they are offset about every 1 to 2 inches, so when you cut an inch off the bottom, you get to the next new set of capillaries, which can provide the rose new life. But it’s important to use only a very sharp knife, never any tool that has even the slightest pinching effect on the stem which will cause these straw like tubes inside the rose to collapse, then they can’t drink water and they will die in hours.

7. Roses are heavy drinkers and need to keep the water level all the way up to the top daily, as I said, more than 2 minutes with the stem out of water requires a fresh cut or they will die.  I’ve seen roses drink half the vase of water overnight, so watch it closely.

8. A rose that is harvested at the wrong stage of it’s development is called a bullet, I know you’ve seen the ugly pointed, tight rose, the kind that will never open. Don’t buy them, expecting them to open, they will never open. 

9. When you are buying roses, pick good varieties, that have a longer vase life, we like to sell Forever Young or a variety called Freedom for red roses, they are good performers, and have a good vase life. When you feel a rose at the base where it attaches to the stem, it should be firm, not soft and mushy.  If it is soft and mushy, it’s probably at the end of it’s life.  Also note that certain colors of roses like yellow and lavender are shorter lived than other colors. A good variety should give you any where from 7-10 days in the vase.  Some of my customers have gotten two weeks out of their roses, we tell them it’s our Brittany Flowers water :>)