Did You Get Roses? Here’s How To Keep Them Longer
According to the National Retail Federation, just over half of Americans – 54 percent to be exact – will spend close to $18.2 billion dollars this Valentine’s Day. That makes for an average of $136.57 per person.
And while the most popular Valentine’s Day gift is jewelry (with 20 per cent of consumers dropping an estimated $4.3 billion for the bling), love birds are also expected to fork over close to $2 billion on flowers.
Still at the top of that sales chart pyramid of popular petals – the good ol’ rose. In fact, according to the Society Of American Florists, 250 million roses are produced for the holiday in the United States alone.
Since red and pink roses make up close to 90 percent of the flowers purchased on Valentine’s Day, whether you’re giving or receiving, there’s a pretty good likelihood that roses will end up being part of the game plan if you intend on celebrating the most romantic day of the year.
What’s the best way to keep that perfect bouquet as fresh as possible? Here are some expert tips on how to keep that symbol of love looking good for as long as possible.
- Start with a clean vase! If your flowers arrived without a vase, find one that’s tall enough to hold the bouquet, wash it thoroughly and then rinse well. Debris from an unclean vase can contaminate the water and shorten the life of your roses. Then, fill your vase roughly half full of warm to very warm water (never cold – your roses will draw up warm water more readily than cold.)
- Use a preservative. If your roses came with a small packet of floral preservative (sometimes labeled as "flower food"), mix it into the water in the vase. Or, make your own by mixing in this simple formula of 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon liquid bleach and 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice.
- Using a sharp knife or shears, cut the stems – preferably under warm running water – at a 45-degree angle. Cutting at an angle allows for better water intake since they aren’t sitting flat on the bottom of a vase. Also – sharp is best! Dull blades can crush the stems and making it harder for the flowers to absorb the much-needed water.
- Remove any leaves below the water line. Not only will it make your bouquet look better, but it also prevents bacterial growth. After the initial pruning, check your roses daily and remove any dead or loose leaves and petals in order to avoid bacterial rot.
- Hydrate! Your roses won’t last long without water, especially once their stems have been cut. Check the water level daily. Change the water every few days and re-cut the stems (at an angle) at the same time. Again - add warm water, not cold to the vase.
- Avoid direct sunlight, heat and drafts. Roses will last longer in a room with cool temperatures so avoid displaying them in direct sunlight or near appliances that generate heat.
With these tips, your roses will stay fresh looking longer than just plopping them on a table or desk and forgetting about them. Now, will they outlast that ginormous, heart shaped box of candy? Who knows – but it will be a tasty labor of love trying to find out!
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