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How to Keep Roses Fresh: 11 Great Tips & FAQs

pink miniature roses

Fresh roses are a timeless treat. They are extremely popular for their intricate beauty and classic appearance. There is nothing worse than getting beautiful, fresh roses only to have them start fading and wilting as soon as you get home. The key to keeping roses fresh is to keep them clean and watered. If you want your roses to last as long as possible, you need to follow some expert tips.

Here are 11 great ways to keep roses fresh for longer.

garden flower divider

The Top 11 Tips for Keeping Roses Fresh

1. Choose Fresh Roses

One of the best ways to keep roses fresh longer is by choosing fresh roses from the florist. Ask for the freshest roses, if possible. If you are picking them out yourself, you should look for firm petals, perky green leaves, and fresh, clean water in the vase. Not all flowers are fresh at the florist. Certain flowers have been sitting on the shelf for some time. The longer the flowers sit at the florist, the less time you will have to enjoy them at home.

three pink roses
Image Credit: cocoparisienne, Pixabay

2. Never Let Them Freeze

There are many situations during the winter that might warrant some roses. Anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s, just to name a few. Winter holidays carry the risk of freezing weather. Never let your roses freeze. If your roses freeze, they will most likely die and wilt right away. Do not leave your roses in the car if the weather is cold. Move them from the store to the car and from the car into the house in a timely manner for the best results.

3. Put Them in Water Immediately

Once you get your roses home, put them in the water right away. You should cut the bottom inch off each stem and place the roses in water within 10 seconds of cutting them. This will allow the rose to start absorbing water immediately and gives you the best chance of having a vibrant rose for longer. Do not set your roses on the counter and forget about them. Move to get them in a vase ASAP.

rose water
Image Credit: Jumpstory

4. Use a Clean Vase

Before putting roses into a vase, you should make sure the vase is clean. Use soap or a small amount of bleach, and make sure that the surfaces are free of grime, old dirt, scum, or algae. This will prevent your roses from getting a bacterial infection and will help keep the water as fresh and clean as possible.

5. Change the Water Daily

You should change your rose’s water every day to keep it as clean and healthy as possible. Some people suggest changing the water every other day, but if you can manage it, changing the water every day will help keep your roses looking better for longer. Carefully remove the roses, dump the old water, refill the vase, and replace the roses. Doing this daily will help eke out some extra time from your flowers.

rose vase
Image Credit: hmauck, Pixabay

6. Trim the Stems When You Change the Water

When you change the water, it is also a good idea to trim another inch off each rose stem. Just like you did the first time, trim the bottom inch, and put the rose back into the water immediately after trimming. If you keep the roses out of the water for more than 10 seconds after trimming, the bottom of the stem will start to heal and seal itself, preventing any water or nutrients from being absorbed.

7. Keep the Water Free of Pests and Debris

Changing the water every day will help keep the water as clean and fresh as possible. However, if you see any leaves, petals, or other debris in the water, it is a good idea to fish them out. This will prevent anything from growing and contaminating the water. You do not want any bugs like gnats or mosquitos getting into the water. Pests can show up if you do not keep your water clean, and they can harm your roses.

rose in a vase
Image Credit: klickblick, Pixabay

8. Use Flower Food

Adding flower food to your rose’s water will help keep them fresh for longer. Some people have had mixed results with flower food, but it works best when you put it into fresh water after trimming the stems. Flower food will not hurt your roses, so you don’t lose anything by adding it to your vase. Most florists will provide basic flower food when you buy from them. If you are trimming your own roses, you can buy flower food at your local garden center.

9. Keep the Flowers Cool

Roses do best at room temperature. Try not to let them get too hot (over 75 F), and do not let them get too cold (below 50 F). Try to keep the roses cool when they are out for display, and it will keep them looking sharp. As we established, never ever let your roses freeze. Freezing temperatures only need a few moments to irreparably damage your roses.

Image Credit: GoranH, Pixabay

10. Remove the Leaves from Cut Stems

Do not let any leaves sit in the water. Even leaves that are still attached to the stem should not become submerged. When you are trimming or arranging your roses, remove any leaves that are in the water or close to the water’s surface. You can gently pull the leaves off or use a small pruner to remove them. Keep the base of the stem free of leaves and stems for the best results.

11. Cut Stems Very Short If the Plant Is Struggling

If your roses start fading and you want to try and get a little bit more time out of them, you can cut the stems extremely short. Cutting the stems back to just a couple of inches might help the flowers last a little longer. The shorter the stems, the less distance the water has to travel to the flower. This allows water and nutrients to get directly to the buds much more quickly. This is a last resort and cutting the stems will harken the end of your roses, but it might give you an extra day to enjoy your flowers.

garden flower divider How Long Do Roses Last in Water?

Roses should last at least a week in water. As long as you keep your flowers in water and at a proper temperature, they should have no trouble making it 7 days. If you care for your roses properly, they could last 10 days or potentially more. 10 days is typically the upper limit that fresh flowers will last in a vase with proper care. Tips like these can help your roses last beyond a week, giving you additional days of beautiful floral enjoyment.

How Long Do Roses Last Without Water?

Roses will not last very long without water. If you snip a rose directly from a bush, you might get 3 days out of the flower before it fades and wilts. If you buy roses from the store and don’t put them in water, they could die in hours. It is imperative to put your roses in water and keep them in water in order for them to last.

watering globe on a potted rose
Image Credit: FotoHelin, Shutterstock

Can You Put Aspirin in Your Vase?

Yes. Crushing up aspirin and sprinkling the powder into a floral vase can help the flowers stay fresh for longer. Adding aspirin to your rose’s water can help them remain fresh and perky. Be sure to only add crushed aspirin to the water, not whole tablets. Adding aspirin is best done when you are changing out the water.

Can You Put Roses in the Refrigerator?

Yes. Roses can spend 24 to 36 hours in a refrigerator. This is a technique to help keep them fresh before you give them to someone else. For example, if you buy roses the day before a performance, you should keep them in the refrigerator to maintain the flower’s freshness. You don’t want to trim roses, put them in water, and then take them out and bundle them into a bouquet. For the best results, you should always try and buy flowers right before you plan on giving them away. Remember, if you are keeping the roses, you should always put them in the water right away.

garden flower divider Conclusion

With proper care, roses can last over a week in a vase. The key is to keep a close eye on your roses and ensure that they always have fresh, clean water. Taking care of your roses when they get home can help you get days of pleasant enjoyment out of your flowers which stretches their value and their appeal. These great tips will keep your roses looking their best for as long as possible. The best care can cause roses to last nearly 2 weeks in ideal conditions.

Featured Image Credit: RococoNeko, Pixabay


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