How to safely de-thorn roses

Roses are known as some of the most beautiful and popular flowers of all. So much so that florists around the world keep several varieties and colours on hand throughout the year. Red roses are popular for Valentine’s Day and other romantic occasions while yellow roses are a popular choice for Friendship Day. When you order flowers from your florist, you shouldn’t have any issues with thorny stems. If you ever pick roses from your garden, however, you will need to wear some heavy duty gloves to avoid getting hurt. Fortunately, removing thorns from rose stems is really easy. That said, you want to do so in the right way so that you don’t end up damaging the stem in the process. Damaged stems will result in flowers that will wilt and perish prematurely. Play it safe by following these easy steps:


  • Prepare yourself with a sharp knife. Test the knife to make sure that it has been properly sharpened. If not, take the time to sharpen it before you begin.
  • Run the knife along the stem to remove each thorn. Make sure that you keep the knife parallel to the stem so that you don’t cut into the stem itself. Always cut away from yourself so that you don’t get injured in the process and, remember, take your time! Rushing the job can subject the rose to unnecessary trauma and this will shorten its lifespan.
  • Repeat this process on all sides of the stem and make sure that you only do so for the parts that will end up below the water line in the vase. If you remove the thorns located higher up on the stem, it can shorten the lifespan of the rose.
  • If you don’t have a sharp knife, you could trim the thorns using a sharp pair of clippers.
  • Remember to wear protective gloves if you are concerned about getting hurt during this process. While trimming the thorns, take a moment to remove leaves located lower on the stem and trim the base of the stem too.