How to help your Valentine’s Day roses stay fresh
Roses are one of the most popular gifts a loved one can give on Valentines Day, but it can be hugely disappointing when, after the effort and expense, they wilt or die all too quickly.
Bunches of cut flowers will always have a limited life. In order to satisfy the huge demand required on one day, the flowers are often placed in cold storage for a few days (or more), so may not be at their freshest. Here are a few simple tips to follow in order to keep them looking good for that little bit longer.
Trim the stems – During the time since the stems were cut, they may have formed a callous over the cut end, which might slow down water uptake. Use secateurs or a sharp knife to cut the bottom centimetre or so from the stem to expose some fresher tissue.
Remove leaves from the bottom of the stem – If you are going to put your roses in a vase, the lower leaves will get wet and look unsightly. It’s best to remove them, but make sure you leave a few near the top to help show off the attractive blooms.
Use the sachet of plant food – Bouquets of flowers usually come with a little sachet of fertilizer. This is beneficial, so don’t throw it away as it will add a few extra days of life to your flowers.
Don’t use very cold water – Try not to chill your flowers by putting them in icy water. If the water out of your tap is very cold, fill the vase and let it warm up a little before putting your flowers in.
Finally, you do get what you pay for. Cheap bunches of flowers may have been kept in less-than-ideal conditions before being sold, so if you can afford to stretch your budget, you, or your loved one, will ultimately benefit.
If you have been lucky enough to have been given a potted rose – perhaps a dwarf patio rose – then you might want to consider its life after Valentine’s Day. These popular plants make ideal outdoor pot plants and they can live for years. They are fully hardy and will benefit from being allowed out-of-doors as soon as possible. Give them some space to grow and plant them in a bigger pot. They will enjoy some fertilizer and once the flowers fade, you should cut them off.
Pruning roses is often seen as a complex and daunting task, but it isn’t really – roses are actually very forgiving plants and you can prune them to the size you want without worrying about where on the stem you make your cut. Enthusiasts and purists might complain, but unless you are in the business of producing show-stopping competition flowers, the effort won’t be worthwhile.
Some dwarf roses are naturally small, but some will have been treated with growth regulators to produce a compact effect. Over time, they will grow a lot bigger and might look a little straggly. If that’s the case, you might want to plant them in the garden instead of a pot where they can grow to a more natural shape and size.
These quick tips and tricks will help to prolong the life of your roses, allowing you to enjoy their beauty for longer.