How to care for your roses

How to care for your roses

After the rush of Valentine’s Day where we sell so many roses of all different varieties, I though it might be helpful to write a quick blog to give you a few care tips specifically for roses to help you get the best from these beautiful flowers.

Conditioning Roses

In previous blogs I’ve written about basic conditioning techniques that everyone needs to follow to allow their flowers to drink after they’ve been out of water for a while, and in this respect roses are no different. When you receive your roses, the first thing you need to do is find a clean vase for them and add fresh water and the flower food that will have been attached to your flowers when we send them out of our shop. This food really does make the flowers last for several more days than without it so I would urge you to make the most of it.

Next, you need to make sure there are no leaves left on the stem where they will be in the water in the vase, so remove any of these that will be below the water level in your vase. If you don’t do this the leaves will start to rot in the water, releasing chemicals and encouraging bacterial growth which will reduce the life of the flowers.

Finally, before you place the roses in the vase you will need to cut about 2-3cm off the bottom of each stem, on an angle, as the roses will have formed a protective seal over the bottom of the cut stem whilst in transit, so you need to cut this off to allow them to drink. Now you are ready to place them in your vase and enjoy!

Shock therapy

I sometimes hear people say, ‘I don’t like roses, the heads always flop over and they die really quickly.’ Now, this is not a fault of the rose, or indeed of the florist who sold them to you, but is, in fact, the result of an air lock that has formed in the stem and prevented water uptake to the flower head. This can happen when the stem is cut and before the rose is placed into water, so you need to cut them and place them in the vase quickly to help prevent this. If this does happen to one or more of your roses, all is not lost, unless they’ve been like that for many hours and the flower has died. There is a very successful technique you can use to miraculously bring your roses back to life! This is sometime called ‘shock therapy’ and here is what you need to do:

1. Boil a kettle of clean water.

2. Run a sink, or ideally a container large enough for the rose to be submerged completely to allow the head space to straighten up, such as a bath.

3. Re-cut the stem of the wilted rose by another 2-3cm and place the cut end into the boiled water for approximately 20 seconds. You will often see air bubbles coming out of the cut end.

4. Remove the stem from the hot water and immediately plunge the rose in to the cold water, completely, if possible, if the container is not long enough to allow the rose to be totally submerged, make sure the stem in in the cold water as deeply as is possible.

5. Wait! Leave the rose for several hours in this cold bath and hopefully the head will rise back up to it’s original position, you can place it back in it’s vase with it’s companions and you will be able to enjoy it for many days to come.

I hope this is helpful, feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and above all, enjoy these majestic flowers. I have to confess they are one of my favourites.