Do you love receiving roses but hate how quickly they wilt? Worry not! Here, we’ll teach you how to make roses last longer so they can keep making you smile.
Roses radiate with their beauty, but the pleasure of having them at home is often short-lived. To change this, we’ll share 23 easy ways to boost their longevity.
So, read on and find out how to make these beautiful cut flowers stay fresh for longer.
How Long Can Cut Roses Last?
Roses are beautiful, and it’s not hard to see why they make up the biggest segment of the global cut flowers market. However, their average vase life is only five to seven days. However, if properly cared for, cut roses can survive for over 10 days.
How to Keep Flowers Fresh in a Vase
If you want to keep your bouquet fresh as long as possible, you should regularly trim, feed, clean the flowers, and place them in favorable conditions.
Here’s what you can do:
Keep Your Roses Fresh by Cutting Off Excess Plant Material
Roses can cost a pretty penny (especially if we’re talking about Juliet Rose, the most expensive ever cultivated), so it would be a shame to let them go to waste due to improper care.
Here’s what you can do to keep your roses fresh for days to come:
1. Trim the Stems Regularly.
Forgetting to snip the roses’ stems before putting them in a vase is a fundamental mistake people make. Trimming the stem, leaves, and petals helps disinfect the vase and unclog the pores through which the flowers breathe and eat.
The rose stem is filled with tiny pores that act like straws, sucking up water from the vase and delivering it to the rose leaves and petals. To make a bouquet of roses last longer, you need to keep the roses’ stem pores unclogged.
Cutting the stem helps remove clogs and enables a continuous flow of water to every part of the flower.
So, cut the rose’s stem every few days at a 45-degree angle to create a wider water absorption surface. Hold the rose under running water or underwater while doing this — you don’t want air bubbles forming and closing the stem pores.
2. Strip off the Leaves Below the Waterline.
Leaving leaves on the stem sections that get submerged underwater is a bad idea, as the leaves will quickly start to decompose and release bacteria into the water.
These bacteria will then infect the stem, causing the whole flower to rot. By removing the leaves, you’ll prevent this from happening.
But should you also remove thorns? Is this another way to keep roses fresh?
Actually, no. Unless it’s essential to your floral arrangement design, avoid stripping the thorns off cut roses.
Removing thorns can cause wounds on the stem that can easily get infected. If you want to avoid prickliness in your bouquet, just remove the sharp thorn tips and avoid unnecessarily damaging the stem.
3. Remove Dead Petals.
As your roses age, you may notice dead petals falling off. Make sure to remove these promptly as they can cause healthy petals to wilt faster and fall off as well.
Disinfect the Water to Make Cut Roses Last Longer
Bacteria growth is one of the main reasons why cut roses wilt prematurely. To make sure this doesn’t happen to your bouquet, use the following tricks.
4. Clean the Vase.
Clean your vase thoroughly with soap and hot water before putting roses in. A dirty vase can promote bacteria growth, thereby shortening your flowers‘ lifespan.
Don’t forget to rinse the soap thoroughly.
5. Change the Water After a Day or Two.
You should change the vase water every few days. This will prevent bacteria from growing and filth from accumulating.
If the vase wasn’t sterile to begin with (or if you don’t have any rose food), change the water daily.
6. Add a Few Drops of Bleach.
Bleach will kill any bacteria in the vase. Add three drops of bleach per liter of vase water to keep your cut flowers fresh and bacteria-free.
7. Use Apple Cider Vinegar or Fresh Lemon Juice.
Flowers thrive at a pH lower than seven. Therefore, adding some acidity to water (and thereby lowering the water’s pH) may do your bouquet some good.
So, you could add two tablespoons of ACV to the vase water before putting the flowers in to keep them fresh. This will both disinfect the water and help maintain its optimal pH.
By adding lemon juice to the water, you can prolong your roses’ lifespan to up to a week longer. The acidity of the lemon juice will keep the water clean and bacteria-free (and it’ll also act as a preservative).
8. Consider Adding Vodka to the Vase.
Vodka and other clear spirits can help your roses live longer by disinfecting the water and inhibiting ethylene production.
All you have to do is add a few drops of vodka to the water and change the vodka-infused water every other day.
Create Optimal Conditions to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh
Where you put the roses will affect how long they’ll live.
But fear not! You can easily create the right environment to boost their longevity.
Here’s how to do it:
9. Pick the Right Vase.
The type of vase you use can truly make a difference! Avoid using too small vases, as they can restrict the airflow and cause the roses to wilt quicker.
10. Use Bottled Water.
Use purified, distilled, or bottled water in the flower vase to make roses last longer in a vase. This will ensure a pH close to neutral, in which roses thrive.
If you decide to use tap water instead, put it in the fridge overnight to ensure any chlorine dissipates before you put the roses in.
But don’t forget to bring it to room temperature before adding the roses. Cold water promotes bubble-forming on the stems, as it has a higher oxygen content.
Alternatively, you can use water purification tablets, but make sure to wait 30 minutes before you put roses into the purified water.
11. Put Your Roses in a Shady, Cool Place.
Roses should be kept in a cool place, out of direct sunlight.
Because the heat will cause them to wilt and die quickly.
If you want your roses to last even longer, you can store them in the refrigerator every night before going to bed, as colder temperatures can delay wilting. Just make sure to wrap them in plastic first (so they don’t get too cold).
12. Choose a Draft-Free Location to Make Your Cut Roses Last Longer.
Draft harms the roses by causing the water in the stems to evaporate quickly. So, try to keep your roses away from heat vents, fans, television sets, and open windows or doors.
13. Keep Roses Away From Ripening Fruits and Vegetables.
Ripe produce (e.g., bananas, apples, tomatoes, green onions, etc.) emit ethylene gas into the air, causing the roses to wilt more rapidly.
Feed Cut Roses to Make Them Live Longer
You can do several things to keep your cut flowers nourished and long-lasting.
14. Use Flower Food Packets.
Using the little packet of flower food you get with bouquets from your florist is the easiest way to make sure cut roses get enough nutrients.
Plant food like this also contains preservatives that can prolong the lifespan of your blooms and can even reduce bacteria growth in the water.
Just make sure to use the exact amount indicated on the back of the package so as not to burn out your flowers.
15. Make Roses Last Longer With Sugar and Vinegar.
Adding a tablespoon of sugar can help make roses stay alive. Sugar provides food for the flowers, which they can’t get another way, as they’re cut from the rest of the plant. However, sugar is also the favorite snack of bacteria, which isn’t good.
So, to keep the roses fed and bacteria away, try this recipe:
- Add three tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of white vinegar to a quart of warm water.
- Stir well to make sure that the sugar dissolves.
- Then, put the stem at least three inches deep in this solution.
16. Pour Soda Into the Water.
The sugar from the soda will feed the flower and keep acidity at good levels. However, sugar also promotes fungal and bacterial growth, so it’s a good idea to add an antibacterial agent to the vase water too.
For example, you could add one cup of soda and a few drops of bleach to three cups of water.
Other Ways to Make a Bouquet of Roses Last Longer
There are a few other things you can make your roses last longer. Try some of these methods and see how they work for you.
17. Buy the Right Variety.
Some rose varieties are just naturally longer lasting than others. For example, Hybrid Tea roses typically last longer than other roses. If you have the choice, ask your florist for advice.
18. Pick Roses That Are as Fresh as Possible.
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. The fresher your roses are, the longer they’ll last. So, cut them or pick them up from the store or florist the day you plan on using them.
19. Spray the Roses With Hair Spray.
How to make roses last longer with common household items? Easy! One of the ways is to use hair spray and lightly spray the roses from a foot away. The chemicals in it act as preservatives. Just make sure to spray only the undersides of the leaves and petals. Be careful not to get any on the petals, as it can cause discoloration.
20. Invest in Anti-Ethylene Gardening Products.
They can be found in the garden store and come in powder and spray form. The main point of using products like these is to suppress the hormone ethylene that causes premature wilting.
Additionally, some of these products also have antibacterial action.
21. Add Aspirin to the Water.
Dissolving a crushed aspirin tablet in the vase water helps the plant get more water by lowering the water’s pH. Do this before you put the roses in the vase.
22. Make Fresh Roses Last Longer by Misting Them Regularly.
This isn’t an absolute necessity, but it’ll ensure your roses get all the water they need. So, mist them only lightly, once a day at the most.
23. Slip Copper Coins in the Water.
Submerging a penny in the vase is perhaps the cheapest way to keep your rose alive for longer. This is so because pennies are made of copper, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it can keep the vase water clean for longer.
However, coins made after 1982 are mostly made of zinc (they only have a copper coating), so this method may not work as well as the others described above.
Learning how to take care of roses in a vase will grant you and your loved ones their beauty for two to three weeks. Plus, you’ll finally be able to show off your green thumb to all of your friends.
So the next time you buy roses, keep these simple tips in mind and share them with others. They can help you design the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day or beautify your nightstand.
What causes premature wilting?
Blocked stem pores and bacteria are the main reasons why roses wilt. To prevent the air bubbles and bacteria from forming at the end of the stem, cut it regularly, at an angle of 45 degrees under running water or underwater.
How long do roses last?
Cut roses last anywhere from five to seven days on average before they start wilting. However, with proper care, they can last up to two weeks or even longer.
How to revive wilted roses?
Submerge the whole rose (both flower and the stem) entirely in water for 30–60 minutes. This is the best first aid for your rose. After the rose has come back to life, cut off an inch of the stem while still submerged in water and put it back into the vase.
Then follow our other instructions regarding how to make roses last longer (described above), and you’ll have a fresh bouquet beautifying your house for days.