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How to take care of a bouquet of roses

Roses have long been a symbol of love and beauty with their velvety petals and sweet fragrance. When cared for properly, cut roses can last up to two weeks in a vase, giving you plenty of time to enjoy their charm. Our roses are freshly picked and arrive in the bud, meaning they open a day or so after delivery to maximise vase life. We stamp every bouquet with a 7-day freshness guarantee. You can also take a few steps to care for your roses, which we outline below. The most important step is to use fresh, lukewarm water to give the stems something to drink and promote bud opening.

10 Ways to Care For Your Roses

1. Unpack your roses asap

Roses are living plants, so they need to breathe! When your roses arrive, unwrap them right away but leave any cardboard sleeves around the stems for protection. The cardboard keeps the stems safe until it's time to plop them in a vase. Do remove any plastic or wrapping totally enclosing the flower heads, though. Plastic traps moisture, which can wilt the petals.

2. Cut the stems at an angle

Before placing your roses in a vase, trim 1-2 inches off the bottom of each stem at a 45-degree angle with a sharp knife or pruning shears to expose more surface area for the stems to absorb water. Cutting the stems at an angle helps them take up water more easily than straight-cut, crushed or jagged ends.

3. Use a clean vase

A dirty vase can contaminate fresh flowers by transferring bacteria, mould, residues, dust, debris, and microorganisms from the unclean vase into the water and onto the stems. Always use a clean vase and thoroughly wash vases between uses to provide fresh flowers with clean water to prolong their life.

4. Fill the vase with lukewarm water

Fill your vase with lukewarm water and add the floral preservative that often comes with bouquets. The warm temperature lets the stems absorb water quickly, while the preservative provides nutrients and inhibits bacterial growth. Change the water every 2-3 days to keep it clean and filled with nutrients.

5. Keep your roses hydrated

Roses drink a lot of water daily, so check the water level and top it off as needed. If the water starts to cloud, drain the vase, and refill it with fresh, lukewarm water and more food/preservatives. Recutting the stems every few days can also improve water intake - take around half a centimetre off the ends.

6. Display out of direct sunlight

While roses need light to photosynthesise, direct sunlight can stress blooms, causing them to wilt and fade prematurely. We recommend keeping your bouquet on a kitchen, dining, or entry table, away from south-facing windows and heat sources like radiators and fires. Cooler temperatures will help your roses last longer.

7. Remove excess foliage

Leaves and petals underwater rot fast, so you want to remove any leaves that will sit in the water - it really helps the flowers last longer. The leaves above the water are good to keep since they nourish the blooms. But be careful not to stuff too many stems in the vase because overcrowding makes it hard for the stems to drink up water.

8. Keep the stems straight

Check the vase daily and gently adjust any crooked or slouching stems back to a straight, upright position to ensure every rose has equal access to water and stays perky for longer. The easiest way to keep stems straight is to put your roses in a vase that isn't too big, or you can prop the flower bunch at an angle against a wall.

9. Use flower food

In addition to the preservative, you can add commercial flower food to the water. Look for formulas containing sugar, biocides, or citric acid to inhibit bacterial growth. The sugar acts as plant food, allowing roses to stay nourished, while the biocide will maintain the water's purity, keeping your stems from rotting.

10. Mist the petals

Gently misting rose blooms every few days mimics the humidity of a greenhouse, helping petals stay supple and last longer. Use a spray bottle with plain water, taking care not to get water on the leaves, which can promote rot. Don't soak your flowers – a gentle misting is all that is needed to freshen up the blooms.


How do you keep roses fresh in a bouquet?

Recut stem ends, change water every 2-3 days, use floral preservatives and flower food, mist petals, and keep your roses in a cool spot away from direct sunlight. How long is a bouquet of roses supposed to last?

Our roses last at least 7 days, but with proper care, a bouquet can last up to 2 weeks in the vase. Expect 7-10 days on average.

Should you take leaves off rose bouquets?

Yes, trim off any leaves below the waterline, as they will rot. But leave the upper foliage intact to nourish the blooms.

What keeps roses alive longer in a vase?

Freshwater, floral preservatives, flower food, recutting stems, and proper hydration are essential. Cool temperatures and misting help, too.

How do you keep roses healthy?

Choose fresh, unblemished blooms. Cut the stems at an angle, use lukewarm water with preservatives and food, keep them hydrated, mist the petals, and display them out of direct sunlight – these steps will keep your roses healthy for longer.

Follow these tips to keep your bouquets looking and smelling lovely. With the proper care, you can enjoy the timeless beauty of roses for over a week.