Preserve That Bouquet of Roses!

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roses

Photo by LAFrame

Valentine's Day is the biggest day of the year for the flower industry.

Roses are (obviously) the most popular choice, taking up more than half of the floral sales for Valentine's Day.

If your sweetheart surprises you with a bouquet of roses today (lucky, girl!), follow these steps so you can keep them alive for as long as possible:

  • Cut the stems at an angle so the flowers can soak up more water. Remove any leaves that touch the water. Replace the water at least every other day. If the water if murky, clean the vase and refill it. Use cold water. Don't fill the vase to the top. It's best to only cover about 6 inches of the stems with water
  • Many arrangements come with food packets, but if not, buy a packet of food at your florist or craft center. Alternatively, you could add a penny to the water to deter bacteria from forming. Some experts also recommend a bit of lemon-lime soda or sugar to help feed the flowers
  • Keep your roses in a cool place.

Ways to preserve them after they have begun to wilt:

  • Hang the roses upside down before they become so wilted that the petals begin to fall. Let the roses dry, and then use them for dried arrangements or simply keep them for sentimental reasons. 
  • Remove the rose petals before drying to create potpourri. Lay the petals in a single layer on paper towels or a drying screen, if you have one.
  • Use silica gel to preserve your roses if shape and color is important to you. Submerse the blooms in the silica, which can be bought at most craft shops. Note that the silica will remove the scent of the roses.
  • Freeze-dry your roses. Many professional agencies will take your flowers and remove the moisture from them using a cold vacuum chamber. This leaves your roses' beauty and scent nearly intact, but it can be expensive.
  • Wilted roses may be brought back to life by sticking the ends of their stems into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then, cut the end of the stems off and place the roses in cool water. 
  • Soak your roses with glycerine if you prefer to keep them supple and fragrant. Glycerine can be bought at craft stores or pharmacies.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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