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Grow with KARE: Keep your roses looking fresh for 7 to 10 days

Tips from the experts at Len Busch Roses for keeping your Valentine's Day flowers looking their best in the vase.

Straight from the experts at Len Busch Roses, here are the must-follow tips for keeping your roses and other Valentine's flowers looking their best for for up to seven to ten days.

  • Remove all foliage from the stems that will be in the vase. 
  • Do not remove thorns. Removing thorns creates a wound per say to the skin of the rose. Right below the skin of the rose is where the water travels from the vase to the flower head. If the thorns are removed bacteria and scaring will set in and limit the water uptake causing the rose heads to droop.
  • Add floral food packet to the water. Read the side of the package as there are generally two size packets: 1 pint size and 1 quart size. It is important to mix with the exact amount of water listed on the packet. The formula in the packet is measured to optimally work with the right amount of water listed. Roses and all plants in general are just like us human beings. We need food, water and oxygen to survive. The food packet is made up of basically two elements: Sugars for food and a bacteria agent to keep the water and vase clean.
  • Using a sharp knife or garden pruning shears cut a heavy angle on the bottom of each stem. A standard household scissor should not be used as they will crush the stem rather than cut cleanly through the stem. Crushing the stem will limit the ability of the rose to draw water from the vase up the stem. The heavy angle on the cut of the stem is to minimize the amount of stem surface that rests on the bottom of the vase. The bottom of the vase is where any bacteria and debris will settle in the vase thus plugging the stem from water uptake.
  • Changing the water every two-three days will certainly help extend the vase life of the roses. Only do this if you have a backup food packet to replace the water with. Gently dump out the old water. Fill the vase with plain water once and dump out again to rinse out any debris or bacteria on the stems. Using sharp shears (being the easiest way) you may re-cut the stems and place them back into fresh water. Re-cutting the stems is optimal however not totally necessary when replacing clean water with a new food packet.
  • Place your roses in a cool place. The cooler your flowers are the longer they will last. Avoid heat drafts, and sunny windows.
  • Put them to bed at night Placing your flowers in the garage at night will cool them down to add days of vase life to your flowers - if the temperature is 40 degrees and above all night long. 

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