A bouquet of roses is a beautiful, fragrant addition to any room. To achieve the best results from fresh-cut roses, follow these steps:
Remove leaves that may decay under water. When removing leaves and thorns, do not cut through the green bark. Air can enter the water-conducting passages through the injuries and restrict water uptake. Bacteria in the water can clog stems.
While holding the stems under water or running water, cut about one inch off each stem with a sharp knife or shears. Do not let the newly cut end dry off before transferring it to the arrangement or other container.
Water in which a good floral preservative has been added is the best solution in which to arrange fresh-cut roses. Florists can provide small packages of floral preservative. Use it as recommended to provide additional days of vase life. Do not use stronger solution than the manufacturer's recommendation. Avoid using water from a water softener.
Immediately after the stems are cut, place roses in a deep vase of warm preservative solution (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit). If possible, leave the flowers in a cool, dark room or refrigerator to "condition" for two-three hours before arranging.
If a florist's porous foam material is used in assembling the arrangement, it is important that it is thoroughly saturated in advance in water containing a floral preservative. Use a vase large enough to keep the entire block of foam submerged. Be sure that the rose stems are inserted firmly, well below the solution level in the container.
Roses are thirsty flowers. It is most important to check to see that the vase is full and add preservative solution often. Be sure foam materials are completely saturated and the container is full daily.
Display fresh cut rose arrangement in a cool area out of direct sunlight and drafts.
Premature wilting is not necessarily a sign that the rose is old. It usually indicates that air is trapped in the stem and the preservative solution cannot flow properly up the stem. The end of the stem may be blocked. Look for a cut or scrape in the bark above the water level. Re-cut the stem above the injured section under water and then submerge the entire rose in a basin or shallow pan of warm water (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit). Be sure to keep the stem and head straight. A rose will usually revive within an hour and can be placed within the arrangement.