The naturalistic look and seductive fragrance of old garden roses are the stuff of poetry, but they have never done well off the vine. The blooms of these temperamental dowagers of old Europe appear only briefly, and if you cut them, they last a bare three days in a vase. Since World War II, the old rose has been increasingly replaced in gardens and bouquets by the upstart hybrid tea rose, the denizen of Valentine’s Day deliveries that sacrifices the old rose’s cabbage head and powerful scent for consistent and frequent blooms. Don’t let your floral arrangements fall prey to the conventional roses and enjoy the beauty of garden roses with these 3 tips for long-lasting roses:
1. Recut the stems under warm tap water with a clean, sharp knife or pruner. Cut on a 45-degree angle to produce as much surface area as possible, making it easier for the flower to take in water.
2. Use a clean vase. Bacteria can shorten cut roses’ life by blocking the stems. Fill with lukewarm water, and add the floral food that’s provided. Keep out of direct sun and in a cool room, if possible.
3. Change the water and recut the stems every couple of days to promote water uptake.