How to Care for Fresh Cut Roses - 10 Essential Tips to Keep Roses Last Long in Your Vase

The more love you give your roses, the longer they'll last! Here is the ultimate guide to keeping fresh-cut roses alive.

By: THURSD. | 06-04-2024 | 9 min read
Roses How It Works
Moab Is Rosaprima's Newest Star-on Thursd

Fresh cut roses' presence in any space can make a huge difference in how you feel during your week. Whether you're very busy, or just taking day by day slowly, the power of fresh-cut flowers is extremely noticeable. And why not give them some extra care to keep your cut roses alive for a longer time? Here are a few tips and tricks and all the must "do's", for your roses to thrive and keep accompanying you while making your day better, brighter, and happier. 

10 Care Tips on How to Keep Your Cut Roses Bloom Longer 

Are you finding it hard to keep up with your rose bouquets every week, but most importantly, finding it difficult to keep them alive for a longer time? No worries, according to floral designers and florists, these 10 cut roses care tips and tricks are some you must take into consideration when buying or receiving your next fresh-cut roses bunch or flower arrangement. If you want them around for a longer time, get your notepad out and write these down! (Or just bookmark the link or save these tips on an online notepad).


How to care for your cut roses - ultimate guide


1. Prepare and Clean Your Favorite Vase

Now that you have your fresh-cut roses with you, it's important to take care and make them feel good. When they feel good, they'll bloom even better! So, that said, how about considering putting your fresh-cut roses in your favorite vase? That way their beauty will stand out even more. The perfect combo for full harmony = roses plus a gorgeous vase.

But the most important tip is to wash the vase to rid it of any dirt, dust, and grime, to ensure your flowers get the best start possible. Use antibacterial soap and warm water to clean it thoroughly; the reason why this is important is that dirty vases have germs and deposits from tap water that cut roses’ life short. A clean vase helps you create a bacteria-free environment for your roses.

It is best to use a ceramic or dark green or blue glass vase. Clear vases allow sunlight to reach the water, and this can cause rose stems to decay. If you only have a clear glass vase, be sure to keep it somewhere out of the sun. 


Cut rose care - The ultimate guide - prepare your vase
Photo by Unsplash


2. To Care for and Keep Fresh Cut Roses Alive for a Longer Time, Use Lukewarm Water

Yes, H20 is very important for your roses to thrive. When you fill your vase, make use to use intermediate, also known as lukewarm water, meaning not too hot or too cold. It's vital to know that extreme temperatures can shock your roses and shorten their life, so it’s better to go for lukewarm or room-temperature water. Professional florists maintain that using lukewarm water for roses is the way to go. This is also because the molecules in warm water move faster than cold molecules and can be absorbed by the flower with no effort. Fill your vase with as much water as possible, at least 3/4 full.



3. Add Sugar and Some Chlorine, or Flower Food

Another trick in your cut roses care to help your roses last longer is to add some sugar or, even better, some flower food. This helps to keep your roses nourished as they absorb the sugary water through the stems and turn it into glucose. The glucose is then used to maintain all the tissues healthy in order to let the roses bloom. One important aspect is to use sugar, not alternatives such as saccharin or aspartame. These substitutes do not break down in the same way, so they do not have the same effect. Also, when you use sugar, and not flower food, make sure to add a drop or two of the most basic chlorine you have, this helps the water to remain free of bacteria and keeps the water clear. Which is nice when you have a glass vase. Good flower food such as that of Chrysal already has this in the formula. And is suggested above all other additives, as professional flower food is scientifically tested.


Cut rose care - Chrysal
Chrysal Supreme Rose - Image by Chrysal



4. Cut Back the Extra Leaves

Not only will this step keep your fresh and beautiful cut roses looking better in a clear glass vase, but you will avoid the water from absorbing any bacteria from dry or broken leaves and petals. Also, less water will be used because there's less surface of leaves to evaporate. This will also allow the focus of the strength on the flowers, enabling them to stay fresh longer.

What you have to do is to make sure not one leaf is in contact with water. Make sure to remove all of the leaves at the bottom of the stem that will be in the water, and if possible some of the leaves below the bud as well. Do this preferably by hand to not damage the stem. Little wounds on the stems make the rose more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Which shortens the rose's bloom time.


Removing leaves is one tip for best care for cut roses


5. Cutting of the Stems

If you want your roses to last for a week or even longer, make sure you get all of the setup above ready before cutting them. Minimizing the time they spend out of water helps the bloom remain healthy for longer.

Now comes the true fun in your cut roses care moment, you are going to cut the stems. Look closely, sometimes roses have been without water for quite some time, and you have to make sure you cut off the dry part of the stem completely. Most of the time cutting off 2 or 3 inches will suffice. Use very sharp scissors, or a knife to do that, and make sure your scissors and knife are clean and free of bacteria. (You can hold them in boiling water for a few seconds to get rid of bacteria and germs, these are the #1 cause of a bad vase life which makes your roses last shorter). Then you cut off the stem at a 45-degree angle and immediately put them in the vase.


Snip your fresh cut roses-  on Thursd
Photo found on Salisburry Greenhouse


Placing them directly in the water, one by one, as you cut them, helps to prevent air bubbles from forming within the stem. These air bubbles often block the water flow within the stem just below the bud of the rose, creating soft buds that won't bloom. And we don't want that.


Cutting the stems of roses is good care - on Thursd.jpg
Picture by @fullsunfloral


6. Where Should You Keep Roses?

Once you’ve conditioned your roses, place your arrangement in a shaded, cool area that receives no direct sunlight as the colder temperature helps preserve the blooms. Windowsills and warm, bright rooms (like conservatories) aren’t recommended for roses as they’re dehydrating faster, which makes roses wilt. Also, keep away from fresh fruit! It might sound random, but fruit releases the natural gas ethylene that makes flowers fade fast. If you receive roses as a gift during the wintertime, make sure you keep them well away from any source of indoor heating. 

7. Just Refill, and Not Refresh the Water

It is a fact that natural, clean water will keep your fresh-cut roses alive longer. When your roses are starting to open, they use a lot of water. So, pay close attention to the water level, it will lower quickly in the first few days. A mistake most people tend to make is just to throw out the water and refresh it. Don't do that! In your clean vase, which is bacteria-free, the water quality is now close to optimal, the best you can do is to just add fresh, lukewarm water. This helps to remain the small ecosystem you helped create in the vase. Do this every two to three days. If you still have an extra packet of flower food provided by many florists or flower shops to help keep your arrangement alive longer, this is a perfect time to add a little again, not more than half of what is recommended on the package. PS: If you have dying foliage, be sure to remove it.


Care tips also include to change rose water every two or three days


8. Snip and Snap the Stems Regularly 

Every three days or so, using again clean and bacteria-free sharp scissors or pruning shears, 'snip and snap' about one inch from the bottom of each stem at a 45-degree angle. Doing so will allow your fresh-cut roses' stems to absorb more water, and keep them alive for a longer time. Make sure to keep to time out of the water as minimal as possible. (We don't want the air bubbles, as discussed above!)

Tip: you can either cut each flower stem individually or in a small group at the same time. For more easy tips as to how to care for roses the right way, you can read "How you and your customers will enjoy your roses optimally".

9. Remove Dying Blooms

Unfortunately, after a week or so, some of your roses may begin to wilt or weaken. However, if you want to continue enjoying your fresh-cut roses alive for a longer time, it's best to remove blooms that are wilting and dying as they can begin to grow mold and contaminate the healthy flowers. 

10. This Is the End of Your Cut Roses Care Journey

After blooming nicely, now has come the time to throw out your roses. Make sure to discard the roses in the 'green bin' or try to compost them in your garden. Make sure to have taken a picture before to have a memory of how beautifully your roses were, and perhaps even thank the florist, or the person who gave them to you!


Picture by @jay_jay_veget


If you buy your roses from your local florist, make sure you pass any blooms that do not look well hydrated or have water that is very dirty. Your cut roses care journey basically starts already here. The roses and the water the florist uses need to look fresh if you want your flowers to last longer.


Picture by @runawaybybb











Can't get enough?

Subscribe to the
newsletter, and get
bedazzled with awesome
flower & plant updates