How to Care for Fresh Roses


Proper cutting and conditioning for your rose stems can mean the difference between them staying fresh for a week and unfurling fully or wilting and fading before the bloom comes into full flower. It is most important to provide ample fresh water that is free from bacteria and to store your cut roses out of direct sunlight and away from cooking and heating vents that may blow on them. A few common household supplies and a little simple daily maintenance will help you keep your roses fresh as long as possible.

Step 1

Prepare a scrupulously clean vase or container for your rose stems. Wash with hot water and soap and rinse well to remove any traces of bacteria that hasten the vase life or kill the roses.

Step 2

Fill the clean vase between half way and three-quarters of the way up with tepid water. Add one packet of commercial floral preservative to the vase and swirl to dissolve. Alternatively, mix one teaspoon of white granulated sugar and two to three drops of household chlorine bleach to the water in lieu of a commercial product.

Step 3

Strip the rose stems of any foliage that will fall below the water line on the vase to prevent the breeding of bacteria.

Step 4

Hold the rose stems under water and make a fresh bias cut on each stem removing between 1/4 and 1/2-inch of stem while submerged. This is aid uptake of water into the stem keeping the flowers fresh longer. Plunge the freshly cut stems into the prepared vase water

Step 5

Change the vase water daily or every other day adding fresh preservative elements and re-cutting the stems underwater removing roughly a 1/4-inch and placing the new cut on the bias as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Rose
  • Sharp secateurs or scissors
  • Vase
  • Water
  • Sink or large bowl
  • Commercial floral preservative or bleach and granular sugar


  • Michigan State University
Keywords: cut rose care, prolonging the vase life of cut roses, care for fresh rose bouquet

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.