We are often told that we should only cut roses from the main plant while they are still in bud form. In fact, you may have even noticed how fresh flower deliveries from your local florist often arrive in semi-bud form. In some cases, cutting flowers early is essential for preserving them. For instance, if the weather is particularly cold outside, they aren’t likely to survive. Flowers that are cut while in bud form also last longer than fully opened blooms. Of course, there are cases where some flowers are particularly stubborn when it comes to opening after being cut. Not to worry though, there is a way to remedy this in just a few easy steps:
Fill up your sink or a large bucket with some lukewarm water. Room temperature water is best because it is absorbed at a faster rate than cold water. Hot water will make your flowers wilt before they even have a chance to open.
Place the stems in the water and fully submerge them up to the point just below the bud. If you submerge the bud, it will do more harm than good.
Trim the stems and remember to do so under water and at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. By cutting at an angle, you will increase the surface area for absorption. You will also make sure that the stems never lay flat against the base of the vase since this can obstruct absorption. The better the stem is able to absorb water and nutrients, the better it will flourish and the longer it will last. By trimming the stems under water, you will prevent air from entering the stem. If air enters the stem, it will form bubbles and this will also obstruct and slow down absorption.
Remove any extra leaves and foliage. You want all the energy of the flower stem to go to opening the flower. If you do not remove the leaves, they will “steal” some of the energy best saved for the rose itself.
Fill up a vase with some room temperature water and dissolve a floral preserve specifically designed for roses. There are various types out there and some are better for roses than others. Ensure that the solution includes sugar since this is vital for providing the stems with enough energy to open the buds to open.
Put your roses in the vase and very gently tease the tops of the buds to help them open. You can physically help the roses open by prying the petals apart just a few millimetres at a time. Do this with extreme care and caution so that you don’t damage the petals in the process. You can also breathe gently on the flowers. The warmth of your breath or even placing them in a warm environment (out of the sun) will also encourage them to open. If you are using artificial heat, make sure that you don’t place your flowers too close to the source or you will damage them.
Now, as tempting as it may seem to skip through all the first steps and focus on the last one, you need to follow all the instructions carefully. Prying the petals open is just one part of the process and you need to provide the rose stems with sufficient nutrients in order to facilitate this. If they don’t have the food they need, they won’t be able to convert it into energy and then focus all their energy on opening up those lovely, sweet smelling flowers. Remember to change the water regularly and, when you do, you need to add more flower preserve and trim the stems a bit too.