The rose has been a symbol of romance and love all over the world for centuries. The ancient Greeks believed they grew from aphrodite’s tears whilst Hindu traditions believe the goddess Laxmi who loved her husband intensely was made of over a thousand rose petals. Today, the rose is still a symbol of love and romance, and on valentines day, an estimated 224 million roses are sold. The only problem with receiving valentines roses is that they don’t last as long as we’d want them too, so we’ve put together our top ways to preserving this romantic flower for longer.
Caring for cut roses
It’s so romantic to get a bouquet of roses on valentines, and we all want to avoid them eventually dying. Here is how you keep cut roses alive for longer.
1. Unwrap and recut the stems as soon as you can
Remove all the wrapping from your roses so they can breathe, then using a pair of sharp scissors, recut the branches an inch from the end at a 45-degree angle. Remove any leaves that would sit in the water.
2. Clean your vase
Roses can be a bit picky, so make sure your vase is clean. Some glass vases can go in the dishwasher, but porcelain and crystal should be washed in warm soapy water. Make sure you rinse the soap away, so it doesn’t harm your flowers.
3. Place in a cool place away from heat
Keep your vase away from radiators and heaters as they will make your flowers wilt. Direct sunlight will also damage the plant, so pick a slightly shaded spot.
4. Use warm water
Lukewarm water is the best way to water these summer flowers – it encourages more growth and more robust blooms.
5. Feed flower food or sugar
The flower food that comes with the bouquet is the best as it provides all the nutrients your plants need. If you think they need another feed to try using sugar to inject some life.
6. Change the water regularly
Change the water once every two to three days to keep it fresh and your roses happy.
Press your roses
If you want to hold onto your memories for years to come, pressing your valentine roses will preserve them for years to come. Frame them or put them in an album to always have those memories at your fingertips. If you want to preserve your flowers in a frame or cast in resin, consider using a professional pressing service for the best results.
Book pressing – choose a thick book and open to a middle page. Line with baking or parchment paper. Add your flower and close the book. Add more weight on top and leave for two to four weeks
Microwave pressing – place your flower between two pieces of parchment paper on the microwave plate and dry on low power for thirty seconds to a minute. Check again and keep microwaving until dry.
Plant miniature bushes
If you received a miniature bush this year, then you’ll want to get it into a pot or in your garden as soon as possible so they will last for years. You can plant your miniature rose outside anytime between mid-February and April.
Soil: Choose a well-draining compost or rose compost
Location: Choose a sunny spot that receives some shade at midday
Watering: Water regularly to keep the soil moist, but not dry
Your rose bush should be planted to the same depth as its pot so that the soil does not bury the stem. You should also dig a hole that is wider than the original pot. Tease out the roots to encourage them to grow outwards rather than in a clump. Put the rose bush in the hole, hold it straight with one hand while you pack soil or compost all around it. Firm the soil down with your hand to ensure there are no air spaces so that the roots are properly covered in soil. Water well over the next week to help it settle in.
You should water your rose bush with around an inch of water weekly during the growing season (Mach – August). Make sure you water the soil directly since roses are really susceptible to mildew or black spot. Fertilize once in the spring, and prune back to 1/4 inch above the bud eyes in mid-autumn for continued growth the following year.