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Follow These Steps and Ideas to Prolong The Life Of Your Roses

Regardless of how gorgeous your Rose bouquet looks when you receive it, if you don’t properly take care of them, they’ll most likely wilt after only a few days in your vase. A vase filled with a good level of water may sound good enough to you but there’s so much more you can do to have those elegant blooms displayed longer in your home or office and the care you give them can help them last up to a week or even longer!


Rules of Thumb

Poorly kept Roses usually only last for four days. However, if taken care of properly, they can last for seven to twelve days. There are five general rules when it comes to keeping cut Roses fresh and beautiful for as long as possible: cutting the stems, getting rid of the leaves, frequently changing the water, keeping them cool, and giving them flower food.


Trim the Stems

The stem is like a straw. The leaves and flower “sip” through it so you need to make sure it stands at a proper length. That being said, always trim the stem before putting the roses into the vase. Cutting about an inch or two—depending on the height of your vase—off the end will make it easier for the roses to take in water. And the best way to do this is to cut the stem at an angle of about 45 degrees using a garden shear. The deep angle allows more food and water to be pulled through the larger cut area of the stem. Also, make sure to re-trim your bouquet at least every other day by pulling each Rose out, one by one, cutting at a deep angle and replacing the Rose back into the place that you pulled it out from very quickly so the stem does not have time to clog up with air (REPLACE BACK INTO WATER AFTER CUTTING WITHIN 5 SECONDS).


Take Off the Leaves

Removing the leaves is also a must but you need to remove only those which are below the water line. The leaves take their share of the water the stem absorbs; so, having a lot of them will only lead to less water delivered to the top or to the head of the rose. It is also important to take off the two or three outermost petals of the rose—called guard petals—to make it easier for the bloom to fully open up. However, a professional Florist has already done this before you received your Roses so there is no need for you to do it again.


Change the Water Frequently

It is also wise to change the water frequently – at least every other day. This helps prevent further growth of any existing bacteria present in the old water. So, if you want your roses fresh, you need to keep your water fresh as well. If it has started getting yellowish or cloudy, you have waited to long and should change it immediately.


Keep Them Cool

The best way to preserve your roses is to keep them away from sunlight or any heat source. Roses, despite requiring sun for growth, need no direct sunlight when they are already cut.


Use Flower Foods

A professional Florist will send a packet of Flower Food with your bouquet of Roses. Flower food is a powder containing the nutrients your roses need to combat wilting. If there’s an instruction that comes along with the packet regarding how much water you need to mix it with, follow it.

If you run out of Flower Food, there are a few secret ingredients that act similarly to flower food and help preserve the lives of cut roses for a longer period.



This might sound crazy but any clear spirit like vodka can help inhibit the production of ethylene. Ethylene is a gas that aids in plants’ maturation and roses are very sensitive to ethylene. Thus, as vodka inhibits ethylene, it also helps slow down the wilting of roses. To add vodka as a “flower food,” mix a few drops of it with the clean water in your vase.


Sugar and Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water and pour the solution into your vase before adding the roses. Vinegar helps fight growth of bacteria in the water where the roses sit in. On the other hand, sugar also provides sucrose as a food to support the roses’ longevity.



Yes, bleach can help keep your bouquet stay alive for an extended period of time. Simply drop a few drops of bleach into your vase and let it do the work. Bleach will combat the growth of bacteria in the water.



Pouring a bit of lemon-lime soda like 7-Up into your vase instead of plain water can really help extend your cut roses’ shelf life. This benefit is linked to the fact that soda contains enough acid to prevent or at least lessen the growth of bacteria; and at the same time, it contains a great level of sugar to provide sucrose for the roses.

Since flowers need to stay out of the sun once cut, they lose their ability to photosynthesize—the flower’s way of producing its own food. Therefore, cutting them dramatically limits their lifespan. But providing them sucrose in the form of sugar from soda can support a longer life. Therefore, soda is the second-best option to preserve cut roses for a longer period.

Keep in mind using techniques like vodka, apple cider vinegar and soda should be using sparingly. You have heard the saying, “Less is More.” In this case you want to use very little of the above ingredients, like a few drops of vodka, mixing water and 7-Up, use mainly water and a little 7-Up.

So, the next time you receive a bouquet of roses you’ll know exactly what to do to keep them lasting beautifully for a longer period of time to enjoy the wonderful sentiment and connection your sender intended.

Fiesta Flowers Plants & Gifts
744 W Elliot Rd #103
Tempe, AZ 85284
(480) 777-0060