A staggering four billion flowers – that’s how many Colombia ships to the US every year.
It’s not only during Valentine’s Day that florists are busy though. In fact, worldwide, it’s Christmas and Hannukah that see the most flower sales. These winter holidays account for almost a third of all sales during the holidays.
Roses are among the most sought-after flowers, and not just because of their link to romance. Their looks and scent also have a relaxing effect on the brain.
That should be good enough reason to preserve roses and keep them fresh for as long as possible.
The question now is, how exactly can you extend their lifespan? Is there any specific trick to flower preservation?
We’ve rounded up seven answers to these questions below, so be sure to read on!
1. The Type of Vase Matters
Roses are heavy blooms, with some species boasting up to 50 petals. That’s why you need to cut their stems short and place them in a shorter vase. This way, once they are completely open, their blooms won’t be hanging from too high a position.
The vase should also be big enough for each bloom to open while still supporting each other. The container should be wide enough to let the outer petals of each bloom fully open. This will give the inner petals sufficient room to spread out.
2. Remove Some of the Lower Leaves
Botrytis cinerea is a type of fungi that causes Botrytis infection. This is one of the most common fungal diseases that affect greenhouse crops. Its presence also shortens the overall vase life of fresh flowers, including roses.
Like most fungi, Botrytis cinerea needs moisture and a humidity level of about 85%. A temperature range of between 55 and 75 °F will also help promote its growth and spread. If all these factors are present, your roses are likely to develop the disease within 8 to 12 hours.
That said, one of the best ways to preserve fresh flowers, including roses, is to keep excess moisture at bay.
As such, be sure to remove the leaves from the lower part of the flower stems before you place your fresh roses in a vase. This way, there will be fewer areas that can develop a film of moisture.
3. Snip Off the End of the Stems
Just as vital as nipping excess moisture in the bud (see what we did there?) is ensuring proper water transpiration. This is, after all, the process of moving water throughout the plant. This, in turn, hydrates and delivers nutrients to all its parts.
A key step to preserving flowers in a vase is to be sure that the ends of the stem don’t lie flat at the bottom of the container. So, before transferring your roses in a vase, cut a small portion off their ends first. Also, it’s best to snip off at an angle, so that the stems can take in more water.
4. Use Low Water Temperature, Distilled Water
Low-temperature distilled water can extend the vase life of roses by at least four days. A preservative solution (such as flower food) can even extend your flowers’ life by up to eight days! These are in comparison to using room-temperature water.
5. Feed Your Roses With Flower Food
Plants (or your flowers, in this case) need sugar as their sustenance to grow and stay healthy. They change the carbon dioxide from the air into glucose and fructose. Their phloem tissues then transport these carbohydrates throughout every part of the plant.
Without their roots though, your flowers are less efficient in making their own food. That’s why you need to help them out and provide them with an extra source of carbs.
The good news is, florists often ship and send roses and other bouquets along with a packet of flower food. These are pre-mixed “nutrients” of sugars, along with cleansing agents and acidifiers. These three main ingredients allow flowers to stay alive longer.
Moreover, the cleansing agents and acidifiers they contain help fight off bacterial growths. The acidifiers, in particular, help bring the water’s pH to optimal levels. With the right pH level, your cuttings will be able to absorb water better and more readily.
Check the plant food packet for specific directions. Some may require dissolving in warm water, while others in room temperature water. Either way, be sure to fully dissolve the granules before you place your flowers in the mixture.
You can make your own DIY flower preservation solution in case you run out of flower food. Mix one quart of distilled water with one teaspoon each of sugar and bleach and two teaspoons of lime or lemon. Be sure to completely dissolve the sugar, as bigger granules may clog up your flowers’ stems.
6. Location, Location, Location
Now that they’re cuttings, your fresh roses won’t do well under direct sunlight and excess heat.
To keep your flowers fresh-looking for as long as possible place them far from windows. It’s also best to distance them from appliances that generate heat, like your TV or computer.
You may put them on a table, but make sure they’re not sitting right beside fresh fruits. As fruits ripen, they give off gasses that can wilt your blooms.
A cool spot, such as a coffee table that doesn’t get a direct blast of heat-producing light, is a good place for your vase.
7. Replace the Vase Water Every Few Days
Even if the vase is still a quarter full after say, three days, you should still change it. It’s also a good idea to add another pack of flower food.
Don’t forget to clean the vase as well, as this will help remove microbes that may kill your flowers. Re-snip the ends of the flower stems too, as they may have already become too soggy to absorb more water.
Follow These Tips to Preserve Roses and Your Other Blooms
There you have it, seven of the best ways to preserve roses and make them stay fresh for several more days. Many of these tips also apply to other flowers, particularly those related to choosing a vase. Also, don’t forget that direct sunlight and excess heat will wilt your flowers earlier.
Looking for more tips and tricks to boost your home’s beauty, comfort, and livability? Then be sure to check out the dozens of other guides we have under this site’s Home section!