Roses: Maintenance

A Rose is a Rose

Roses come in many different styles and fragrances and some are better for cutting than others, based on the tales of some florist shops. For instance, it is believed that hybrid tea roses and floribunda are usually grown for cutting purposes due to their long stems; whereas, polyantha roses are not the best choice because they have multi-stems with clusters of roses.

No matter what type you have growing in your yard, understand that all roses can be cut and will provide an abundance of pleasure to you, not only with their fragrance, but with their beauty as well.

Smell the Roses

As you can see from the collage of pictures, I have all types growing, and yes, I cut all of them. If truth be told, I actually prefer the polyantha rose (the deep pink clusters) because the fragrance is outstanding. When the blooms start to open, the smell just cascades throughout the house.

Additionally, once they start to die, I gather up the petals and create a potpourri.

Simple Steps to Follow

In order to get the most from your rose cuttings there are a few simple steps you should follow to ensure 1) your roses will last a while once inside and 2) you will have sustained growth on your rose bushes for further cuttings. After all, why go through the effort of growing them only to have them die within a day or so after cutting them?

When to Cut

  • During the budding stage
  • Late in the day – after 5 pm because roses are like people and they have a metabolism that slows down later in the day. During the day they receive nutrients and they tend to build up carbohydrates so when they are cut later in the day they are not affected as severely from the loss of water as they would have been if cut earlier in the day.

Proper Stem Cutting

  • Make a diagonal cut using a sharp knife. The larger the diagonal on the stem, the better for water absorption.
  • Avoid using rose shears because they tend to crush the stem thus prevent water absorption.
  • Do not cut the stem flat across the bottom – this will leave the stem resting flat on the bottom of the vase and prevent water absorption.

After Stem Cutting

  • Immediately put the cut roses in hot water (110 degrees F) and recut each stem about ¼ inch.
  • Leave the stems in the water for about 30 minutes – this will prevent any air from flowing up the stem, thus allowing for the blossoms to last longer


  • After 30 minutes remove the lower 2/3 of the foliage from the stem and place the roses in a vase with room temperature water. Do NOT use cold water
  • TIP: drop an aspirin in the water – this will prolong the blooms on the roses. TIP 2: This works on store bought roses too!

Maintaining Cut Roses

  • Change the water every day (room temperature water only) and drop an aspirin in the new water
  • Place the roses in a cool room 45 degrees (if you can)

Gift Giving

  • Immediately after cutting, sprinkle the roses with a little water and wrap them in paraffin paper. This will create an air tight seal that will aide in preserving them. Place them in a box and keep them in a cool place (45 degrees) until you are ready to give them away. This should maintain them for about 5 days.
  • If you are giving them within a day, you can wrap the cut stems in wet paper towels that have been soaked in cool water and then wrap the paper towel section in tin foil. This should maintain them for about 2 days. Again, try to keep them in a cool place.

Quick Glance

  1. Cut after 5pm during the budding stage
  2. Cut diagonally with a sharp knife
  3. Immediately put in 110 degree F water
  4. Recut stem about 1/4 inch
  5. Leave stems (after recut) in water for 30 minutes
  6. Remove lower 2/3 of the foliage from the stem
  7. Place in vase filled with room temperature water
  8. Drop in an aspirin
  9. Change water daily - don't forget to add aspirin to the new water

Don't Forget the Roses in the Yard

Your rose bushes that have been cut need a little extra tender love and care because of the stress they have endured from the cutting. In order to help them produce more roses, it is suggested that you fertilize them more frequently in order to replace major nutrients that may have been lost. So, during the growing season, provide them with an additional ounce of potassium per square yard of planting space. Your rose bushes will thank you by providing you with an abundance of roses that you can cut and enjoy throughout the season.

Happy Gardening!

© 2013 bellartdesigns

More by this Author


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working