Last week was Valentine’s Day. At Bob’s we sell a number of Valentine’s Day accoutrement, and roses are essential to any romantic Valentine’s Day. (This year I was blessed with someone to share a beautiful bouquet of roses with, and I also got to share a ring! She said Yes! Whoo! Hoo! Yipeee! YAY!) ... Anyhow, roses are one of the most popular cut flowers to give as a gift. Roses are also one of the more expensive flowers, so it can be disappointing if the roses in a vase begin to wilt within a few days of receiving them. Many times the roses were cut as much as a month before they were received and held in cold storage until they were sold to the florist. However, you can care for roses in vases and make them last longer by following a few procedures.
Add water to the vases after flowers are delivered if it is needed. Water often spills from the vases during delivery. Be sure the vases are at least three-quarters full. This allows the stem to uptake some water through the pores in the stem. Check water levels frequently. Check opaque vases by putting your finger into the vase to see if you can feel the water level.
Wash each vase of roses after five days. To keep the arrangement from falling apart while you remove them from the vase, put a rubber band on the wrist of your hand. Grab the bare stems located just above the opening of the vase then gently pull the arrangement from the vase. Use your other hand to pull the rubber band from your wrist up and around the bottom of the bouquet. Double the rubber band if needed to hold the arrangement in place, then gently set the roses aside. Only do one arrangement at a time so the stems do not dry out as you work. Don't allow the arrangement to be outside of water for more than three minutes or the stems will begin to uptake air, causing them to wilt.
Fill the clean vase with tepid water and add the required amount of professional floral hydrating solution. You can find floral hydrating solution at the craft section of most department stores or from any retail florist. Read the label for measurement needed.
Pick up the roses you set aside and using the floral shears cut off approximately one-half inch of stem from each rose and each piece of greenery. This is done because as the roses pull water up through the stem, the ends become clogged with bacteria. Making a new cut helps the roses get a fresh start. Also, make the cuts under running water to prevent air bubble from clogging the stems too.
Return the arrangement to the vase. Cut off the rubber band that was securing the arrangement while it was set aside. The roses should last for another several days before wilting.
This week’s article is dedicated to my beautiful Julie.
John R. Morgan
Bob’s IT Guy & Newsletter Editor