How to Keep Your Roses Fresh Longer?
Cut flowers, especially roses, can be extremely beautiful, especially when they are tended to properly. Valentine’s Day and other beautiful occasions wouldn’t be the same if cut flowers didn’t exist to give some to your loved ones.
On the average, cut roses can last for one week, but wouldn’t it be amazing if they could last longer than just seven days? The good news here is that you can take some steps to extend or prolong your roses live so they won’t wilt or dry up immediately.
On average, cut roses can last for more than five days if kept in a cool spot, away from harsh sunlight and heat. Typically, florists recommend a substance called flower food to prolong the life of cut roses. Flower food isn’t just sugar. While the exact ingredients vary from brand to brand, most flower food on the market is comprised of four ingredients: bleach, acid, water, and sugar.
While you pick up your jaw from the floor, let us explain why it has this seemingly strange combination. The acid is responsible for maintaining a stable pH level in the solution. Bleach destroys bacteria and other pathogens that can greatly reduce the life of the cut flower. Sugar powers the cut flower for a few days, and the presence of water is self-explanatory.
How to Keep Cut Roses Longer
How this plays out greatly depends on what you do the moment you receive the cut flowers. If you do nothing, then whatever the florist did to the cut flowers will sustain them for a few days, and they will wilt naturally afterward.
If you want the roses to last longer, the first thing you should do is arrange the cut roses in a clean vase. The vase should be clean and dry before you add any amount of water to it. Don’t pick up any vase with weeks old water as the dirty water may already be harboring bacteria.
Since cut roses are already separated from the mother structure, and they don’t have roots, foliage, and other possible protection from infections, even the slightest bacterial invasion can cause them to collapse and wilt faster.
If you’re not sure how clean your vase is, we recommend washing it with baking soda and water. Just swirl the baking soda in the vase and allow the solution to stand for a few minutes.
Drain the solution and rinse the vase, and wipe dry with a clean cloth. If your vase has just been drained of dirty water, you may want to add some white vinegar to the solution. This weak acid effectively prevents bacteria and other pathogens from multiplying on most surfaces, making it an excellent disinfectant solution.
We also recommend washing the vase with warm water, if possible.
The next step in prolonging the life of your roses is trimming off the stems. The trimming should ideally coincide with the changing of the vase’s water, which is once every other day. This isn’t a strict measure, but it is ideal never for letting vase water become stale.
Whenever you change the water, you must remove about an inch from the stems of the cut roses. Do not cut across.
Remember to trim the stems under cool, running water. If you trim the stems dry, the stem’s capillaries may become blocked by air at the molecular level.
This will slow down the uptake of nutrients and water, shortening the life of the roses. Perform only small snips off the stem. The longer you can maintain the healthy stem tissue by removing parts that are already spoiling underwater, the longer the cut roses will last.
It is also necessary to remove all leaves that will become submerged in water even before you put the roses in the vase. Leaves will not survive when submerged in water. All submerged leaves will decay and attract the growth of bacteria that will, later on, become harmful to the roses. Trimming off the excess leaves will extend the life of your flowers considerably.
What about the position of the vase?
The ideal position for vases with cut flowers is away from direct sunlight. A cool spot where there’s some light is fine. Toward the middle of the week, you may want to crush a piece of aspirin into a fine powder. Add the powder to the water and let it form a solution.
This trick works because aspirin contains a mild acid that prevents some of the more common bacteria from propagating in the vase water. The slimy stuff that you find in vase water is bacteria and other pathogens.
Does refrigeration help flowers stay fresh?
Yes, however, there are some preparations that you need to take to ensure that this method works out alright. First, place the cut roses in a clean vase with some water. Fill the vase to about ¾ of its capacity. Remove any fruits or vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables generate subtle gasses that can encourage ripening, which can cause your flowers to wilt faster.
Check the temperature of the refrigerator. The ideal temperature is below 39.9 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.4 degrees Celsius. You can refrigerate cut flowers for six hours every day until you are ready to give them to someone.
Can cut flowers survive without a vase and some water?
They can’t. At most, cut roses will last for only a handful of hours without any water or flower food. The symptoms of dying off begin with drying leaves and petals.
Eventually, the roses’ structure collapses, and the flowers die completely. So it’s truly important to do what is appropriate when we receive cut roses any time of the year. Get those cut flowers in a clean vase immediately, and put them somewhere cool.