Japanese scissors with rose leaves

Sadly cut flowers don’t last forever. As you can imagine, we are mainly focused on how to extend the life of our cut flowers for our clients. Along the way we’ve discovered some trade secrets you can try at home to make your fresh roses last longer. Try these interesting techniques in addition to your normal flower care routine:

1. Cut the Stems Underwater

Cut flowers have a vascular system within the stem that draws up nutrients to feed the blooms. Once cut, the stems can become blocked with air and natural compounds. Cutting the stems underwater can reduce the amount of air blockage. Daily trimming allows the roses to absorb more water and nutrients and is essential for healthier blooms.

2. Harden Stems

This is a common process that ensures stems take in as much water as possible. Simply place freshly cut stems in 110ºF (43.5ºC) water and set in a cool location for an hour or two before arranging. This allows the water molecules to quickly move up the stem and properly rehydrate the flower.

3. Preserve with Hairspray

Professional florists use a setting spray once flowers bloom in order to extend their life. This is very common in the creation of bridal bouquets. You can replicate this concept at home by applying a light misting of hairspray once your blooms have reached their ideal state.

4. Keep Away From Fruit

We found this one most interesting. It is true that certain fruits produce a natural gas called ethylene, which is responsible for the ripening and rotting of fruits. This also has a similar effect on flowers, so keep them far away from those fruit bowls!

5. Make Your Own Food

Flowers need food. Specifically, they need carbohydrates. For maximum longevity, use the liquid rose food that is supplied with your flowers; simply dilute the food directly into lukewarm water. Use fresh water as it runs from the tap, not heated. If you run out of food, it is possible to make your own. Simply mix a few pinches of sugar into 1 cup of water and add 1/2 a teaspoon of household bleach. The sugar feeds the flowers, while the bleach keeps bacteria at bay.

Source: University of Minnesota Extension, Mary H. Meyer, Extension Horticulturist, Department of Horticulture Science. “Keeping cut flowers and flowering plants”.