What Makes a Rose Last Longer?


The key to long-lasting roses is proper care. The rose may seem delicate, but roses are hardy when you take the time to nourish them while they are growing and continue to attend to them inside your home. Once you choose the correct rose for your location and learn how to cut a rose for a bouquet, you will reap the joys of nature's fragrant flower.

Choosing Roses

Find out which zone you live in before choosing the best rose. Your local garden center can help you. The roses will have a tag, which explains the best USDA zone for that particular type. For example, if you live in New England, which includes zones 3 through 6, choose a hardy rose such as floribunda. If you live in the tropical South, zones 9 through 11, you need a heat-tolerant rose that is resistant to fungus.

Choosing the Location

Roses do best in areas where they receive at least six hours of sunshine. The morning sunshine is best. Plant the roses 2 to 3 feet apart for good air movement. Avoid windy areas, and avoid planting roses under eaves or gutters where rain or snow can damage the bush. Do not plant roses near trees or shrubs, where they will compete for the nutrients in the ground. You also want an area with good drainage, so the roots do not rot.

Caring for Roses

Water the soil around the roses. Avoid splashing water on the leaves, which could cause disease. Water your roses two to three times a week, if there is little rainfall. Fertilize when the rose’s first leaves appear. Fertilize again after each bloom. Stop fertilizing two months before the first frost. Mulch is essential for healthy and long-lasting flowers, too. It helps retain moisture, cuts down on weeds and provides nutrients. Wood chips and bark work well. Mulch in the spring before the weeds grow and when the soil is warm.

Cutting Roses

Roses bring you joy not only because they provide landscaping beauty but also because they provide beauty in your home. If you want your bouquet to last longer, always cut the roses in the early morning. The blooms are freshest before the heat of the day. Using pruning shears to cut the stems at an angle, so the rose can draw in the water easily. Place them in lukewarm water. Once you are inside, cut the stems at an angle again while keeping them under running water or in a bucket of water. This will stop the pores from closing up and making it difficult for the rose to draw in the water. Remove the foliage that will be below the water line of the vase.

Preparing the Bouquet

Before placing the roses in a vase, you need to sanitize the vase. Wash the vase with hot, soapy water and scrub any residue from previous flower arrangements. Consider rinsing the vase in a weak solution of bleach and water, or clean the vase in the dishwasher to remove all bacteria. Fill the vase with water and add a floral preservative, such as Floralife. Floral preservatives are available at your local garden center. Change the water every day. Recut the stems when you change the water.

Keywords: choosing roses, growing roses, long lasting roses

About this Author

Pauline is a retired teacher with 27 years experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Language Arts and a Master of Education Degree. Now retired, she writes for eHow, Demand Studios, Bright Hub, and Helium. She has awards writing fiction including a published story with Women on Writing.