How to Cut Rose Flowers


Rose flowers are often cut without giving much thought to the cutting process. If the rose looks beautiful in the garden it is assumed it will look beautiful in a vase. However, if roses are not cut properly it can cause damage to the rose bush and reduce its ability to continue to produce beautiful blooms. If you long to cut some roses to make a bouquet, take extra care when cutting the flowers.

Step 1

Cut rose flowers in early morning or late afternoon. If you cut them in the heat of the day it will put extra stress on the plants.

Step 2

Select roses that just have the outer petals beginning to open. They will continue to unfold once cut, which will give you more time to enjoy them. Roses that are fully opened will have a shorter life span.

Step 3

Cut your rose stem at a 45-degree angle. It is best to cut just above the first leaf that has five leaflets, but if you prefer longer stems, try not to take the ones with a lot of greenery, as the leaves help the bush produce more nutrients for more blooms.

Step 4

Place the cut rose stems immediately in a bucket of water.

Step 5

Strip any leaves that would be under water in a vase from the stem, then place the rose stems in a large bowl. Cut the bottom of the stem at a 45-degree angle one more time, only this time make your cut while the stem is underwater. Michigan State University Extension explains that this removes the air bubble that formed on the bottom of the stem when you first cut it.

Step 6

Fill your vase with warm water and add a floral preservative. Floral preservative can be found at any lawn and garden center. For the proper amount, follow package directions on the brand you choose. Take your cut roses from the large bowl and place them immediately in the vase.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not cut flowers from a rose bush in its first season of blooming, as it can interfere with the future growth and spread of the bush.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Bucket of water
  • Vase
  • Flower preservative


  • Michigan State University Extension: Roses - Cutting and Using Flowers
  • Rose Gardening Made Easy: Cutting Fresh Roses
Keywords: cut rose flowers, cutting fresh roses, cutting roses

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.