Care Of Cut Roses

Some varieties last longer then others, but there are some practical ways to make rose flowers last longer. Try some of the ideas below to make your cut roses last longer.

It all starts at the moment of cutting … the best time of the day to cut roses is during mornings, while flowers are still not completely opened.

Always use clean and sharp tools to cut the flowers; this is very important not only to make the cut flower last longer, but especially to prevent diseases on the spot where the stem was cut. Try to cut above a leaf joint, a lateral stem or bud, to reduce disease risks and encourage growth on the plant. Cut stems around 30 cm / 12 inches long.

Secateurs (pruning shears) are the best tool for this job. Keep them sharp and wipe the blades after each time you use them. If you are looking to buy a new pair of secateurs, then I have one piece of advice, Don’t buy cheap rubbish! There is nothing worse than trying to prune your rose bushes with poor quality tools. Falco is probably THE benchmark in pruning shears…. a few dollars more, but they wil last you for many years.

If you want to have rose hips, for the attractive look and to attract birds to your garden, remember to leave some flowers on the plants, otherwise you will not get hips.

Red and white cut roses, with fern and camillia leaves

Make Your Cut Roses Last Longer

The roses in the photograph are white “Iceberg” and red “Deep Secret”, mixed with fern leaves and glossy camillia leaves. A simple arrangement, but stunning to look at, and also very fragrant. 

After cutting the stem from the plant, give it another cut at an angle, which will make it last longer. Remove leafs from the bottom of the stem and some people recommend also removing the thorns. A rose stripper is a good tool for this purpose.

Water: Don’t leave fresh cut flowers for long without water. This is especially important if you have a rose centerpiece. Change the water every 2-3 days and make sure there isn’t any leaf or petal left on the water, these would make the fresh water go stale. There are specific products to feed cut flowers, which you put in the water to help they last longer. A cheap and easy alternative is to add a bit of sugar to the water.

Avoid Fruit: Don’t put flowers near fruit, as fruit is in decomposition and so will help flowers die faster. All flowers last longer in clean and healthy environments.

Mix them with different plants in a rose vase for different decoration effects. Ferns are a classic choice. Use wire around the stem to make the rose stem stand up.

Some Uses for Rose Petals

Flowers that have opened too far, or that have opened once indoors, can be still of use for decoration. Some ideas on how to use rose petals:

  • Mix petals with water in ice cubes and you will get different and decorative ice cubes. These are great for use in parties and cocktails.
  • Dried roses are also nice. Hang the flower upside down in an airing place for a couple of days.
  • Petals can be used for decorating cakes and salads.
  • Choose a nice bowl and add petals and use it as a nice decorative touch in a room. If you don’t plan to use petals right away, you can freeze them for later use. Put them inside a small plastic bag, leave space between petals (dont get the air out) and put on the freezer.
  • You can also try pressing or drying your roses

If you want to preserve your flowers, you can  learn  how to dry or press roses

Good Rose Varieties for Cut Flowers

Though almost all varieties can be used for cut flowers, some are better then others. Try the following varieties:

  • Whisky Mac very fragrant bright amber flowers
  • Margaret Merril (Floribunda) pure white flowers
  • Deep secret black to red roses with rich scent
  • Lovers Meeting fragrant orange-red flowers
  • Fragrant Cloud coral red with very strong scent
  • Just Joey coppery-orange flowers very scented
  • Fragrant Delight (Floribunda ) highly scented, large flowers coppery-pink flowers
  • Sheilas Perfume fragrant yellow flowers
  • Warm Wishes peach to salmon flowers with a sweet and strong scent
  • Lovely Lady pink-orange flowers, nice scent
  • Rosemary Harkness bronze to orange flowers
  • Tequilla Sunrise strong yellow flowers, light fragrance
  • Valencia yellow- amber flowers with nice fragrance
  • Korresia fragrant bright yellow flowers
  • The Queen Elizabeth light pink flowers
  • Gertrude Jekyll deep pink flow flowers that smell glorious; this is an English shrub rose and was given an Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by The Royal Horticultural Society.