How to Take Care of Fresh Cut Roses


Giving fresh cut roses just a little bit of tender-loving care can help them last much longer, taking them from surviving only a few days to well over a week. Considering how expensive they can be, and what a joy they are to watch slowly open, the small amount of time it takes to keep roses fresh is well worth it. Not only does the extra care allow you to enjoy the roses longer, but it also keeps them in good shape for preserving if you wish to dry the flowers after enjoying them fresh.

Step 1

Fill a clean vase with fresh, lukewarm water. For the very best results, use distilled water, which doesn't contain any salts or chemicals that could damage the roses. Lukewarm water is also absorbed better than cold water, but water that is too warm will cause the roses to open up too quickly.

Step 2

Stir in flower food designed especially for cut flowers. The nutrients in the food will help the flowers survive longer.

Step 3

Remove from the stems any leaves that will be below the water line, or come into contact with the water, when the rosesare placed in the vase. Leaves introduce bacteria to the water, causing the roses to die faster.

Step 4

Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle at least 1 inch from the bottom. Use sharp scissors to make sure you get a nice clean cut.

Step 5

Place the roses in the vase immediately. The longer the roses sit between cutting and placing it in water, the harder it will be for the flowers to take in water.

Step 6

Keep the roses in a cool, protected place, out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources.

Step 7

Refill the water in the vase regularly, making sure the water level does not drop below the bottom of the cut stem.

Step 8

Change the water completely every third day, repeating steps 1 to 5, including making a fresh cut at the bottom of the stem. Replace the water sooner if it becomes dirty. This will help the roses continue to absorb water and nutrients, which are essential for them to remain fresh.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't touch the roses between waterings. Roses are easily damaged by being bumped or touched.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp scissors
  • Flower food for cut flowers


  • Peterkort Roses: Rose Care Tips
  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension: Keeping Valentine's Flowers Alive
  • Caring for Cut Roses
Keywords: take care of fresh roses, caring for cut roses, keep roses in a vase looking fresh

About this Author

Carlye Jones is a journalist, freelance writer, photographer and novelist, with more than 15 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, interior decorating, photography, gardening and traveling. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites, such as Matador Travel. Carlye received her training at Northern Arizona University.