Keeping cut roses looking good

gargyJune 1, 2009

Could someone please tell me how to ensure my cut roses look lovely for longer than one day? Sometimes the neck goes soft and the flower just flops over and other times the flower seems to wilt. What am I doing wrong? I cut them in the morning, rinse them off, gently strip the leaves and thorns and put them in cold water. Occasionally the vase has marbles in it.

Thanks in advance for your help. Y'all are amazing.

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Get in water as instantly as possible, then recut stem underwater. This is to prevent an air bubble stoping the flow of water up the stem, which may cause the neck to drop. If the neck/stem is weak, I cut (again, always under water in a bowl) and float the bloom in anything that holds water. I also clean and refresh every day.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 3:47PM
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Hi gargy, The rose head flops over when an air bubble
goes up the stem and blocks water to the bloom. Try to
cut the stems under water. To revive a bloom fill sink
with hot water and put cut end in, sometimes the hot water
will release the air bubble and allow the bloom to drink.
To condition roses, cut when one-third to one-half open;
and let sit in tepid water.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 3:49PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Cut your roses tight, to extend vase life.
With some cultivars, as soon as the sepals are all the way down.

The most important step is to re-cut the stem under water. If you do not do this, a bubble of air will prevent the rose from taking up water, and it will die.

To prevent this, stick the cut end of the stem AND your clippers under the water, and re-cut the stem at an angle. When you remove it from the water, to put it into a vase, a drop of water will cling long enough to prevent another air blockage.

Put them in a container with warm water, even all the way up to the top of the stem. Place them in a dark, cool location for an hour or so.

Remove the leaves which are going to be under water.
It's not necessary to remove prickles, and those stem strippers are nasty. Damage to the canes will encourage rotted tissue, shortening the vase life of the blooms.

It's not a bad idea to add a small amount of lemon-lime soda to the water -- a nutrient for the blooms. Some recommend instead a small amount of GIN, which will also keep down harmful bacteria.

Changing the water daily, and even re-cutting the stems again can't hurt.

Finally, some roses simply have a lousy vase life, and nothing you can do will extend it by much.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 3:56PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

When a rose or any flower is cut, a tiny bubble of air is sucked into the bottom of the stem. This acts as a blockage preventing water from getting up to the bloom resulting in wilting as the blooms transpires moisture.

If you fill a pan or bowl with warm water and place the cut ends of the flower into the water, then cut an inch off the bottom of the stem, you remove the air bubble thus allowing moisture to get to the bloom to replace any lost to transpiration.
When removed from the bowl of water, a tiny drop of water will cling to the cut cane sealing it as you move the flowers into a vase of cold or tipid water. Placing a floral preservative like those in the little packets supplied with bouquets in grocery stores also helps.
If you repeat this process daily in a similar fashion, you will remove any blockage caused by algie or bacteria that may form in the cut. For this reason make sure you cut as long as stem as possible to allow for the daily cuts.
Sometimes flowers with droopy heads can be revived using this method.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 4:01PM
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As always, I'm grateful for the experience and helpfulness of the members of this forum.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 4:11PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Gin is new... ;-)

What Jeri said. As a substitute for the lemon-lime soda (not diet!), Listerine works too, but the smell isn't great. Or a couple of drops of bleach and some sugar.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 4:44PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Some people have touted Gin, as well.

I loathe Gin.
So I tried Vodka, but found it to be far less effective in the vase than in a glass. :-) Cheers!

If you consumed enough vodka or gin, you might not notice that the rose was wilting.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 7:33PM
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