How to Take Care of a Bouquet of Roses


Rose bouquets are often given for special events like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, but they can be given as a thoughtful gesture throughout the year. The life and appearance of the roses rapidly decreases as soon as the flowers are severed from the rose bush. Whether you received the roses as a gift or are planning to give the bouquet to someone, several maintenance tips can help you sustain the flowers' health for as long as possible.

Step 1

Inspect the rose bouquet before you buy it. The roses should only have a couple of loose petals, and their foliage should be green and crisp, according to the University of Illinois. If cutting roses off a bush yourself, choose slightly opened blossoms and cut them in the early morning, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension.

Step 2

Condition the cut roses. Fill a bucket with warm water and submerge the ends of the roses in it. Use pruning shears or scissors and cut the bottom inch off of each rose stem, keeping the stem underwater the whole time. Let the flowers sit in the warm water for a couple of hours.

Step 3

Fill a vase or similar holding receptacle with water. Add cut flower food, available from most floral shops. This helps preserve the roses' health and color and can double their cut lifespan, according to the University of Illinois.

Step 4

Insert the roses into the vase. Trim off any leaves that are underwater to avoid rotting. Refill the vase with water as needed, as roses are heavy drinkers, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension.

Step 5

Set up the vase in an area that's away from direct sun and drafts, which can reduce the life of the roses, according to the University of Illinois. Spray the roses once a day with water to help keep it cool and increase the humidity around the roses. When the vase is not on display, store it in your refrigerator to extend the lifespan of the flowers even further.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Pruning shears or scissors
  • Cut flower food
  • Spray bottle


  • "Fresh Cut Flowers: An Expert Guide to Selecting and Caring for Cut Flowers"; Gregory Milner; 2009
  • University of Illinois: Choosing, Preserving Cut Roses
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Fresh Cut Flowers and Plant Care

Who Can Help

  • American Rose Society
Keywords: rose bouquet care, caring for roses, cut roses care

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.