Ask anyone “what flower is traditional for Valentine’s Day?” and you will get one answer: rose. About 200 million stems of roses will be purchased for Valentine’s Day. If you are lucky enough to receive this lovely gift here are the steps to take to keep your roses beautiful and long lasting.
Long Lasting Flowers
Assemble a few items before you begin. You will need a clean vase, a sharp knife or scissors, flower food and water. Cut roses need to get into preservative water as soon as possible. Fill your vase with recommended volume of water (as directed on the preservative package) and stir in the preservative. Before placing roses into water remove any foliage (leaves) that will be below the water line. Foliage in the water causes bacteria to grow which will shorten the life of the roses.
Cut about an inch to an inch and a half off the bottom of each stem, at an angle, while holding the bottom of the stem under water. This step is easily accomplished by filling a basin with a few inched of plain tap water*. Cut with a sharp knife or floral clipper. Do not use scissors. Once the stem is cut, immediately put in the preservative/water mixture. Cutting at an angle maximizes the amount of water that can be absorbed by the stem. By cutting underwater the rose will immediately start to absorb water, preventing any air bubbles from developing in the stem.
For the longest vase life, even if you received your roses in water, repeat these steps every three days. Take the roses out of the vase, clean vase with hot water, refill the vase with warm water and flower food; cut each stem an inch and a half under water at an angle; and place stem back in the vase immediately. Every day check the water level and add warm water as needed.
If a rose wilts the most likely cause is an air bubble in its stem blocking the flow of water to the bloom. Wilted roses can be revived. Submerge the entire rose under water in the kitchen sink or bathtub. In two hours the rose will have absorbed enough water to become replenished. Before putting the rose back into the vase make sure to cut off one and a half inches of the stem at an angle under water using a knife or floral clipper. Place your roses is a cool place, away from direct sunlight and drafts. Avoid putting roses near a direct source of heat or cold such as a window with strong sunlight or drafts, heating and cooling vents, and appliances that radiate heat.
* use the tap water to water your houseplants so it does not go to waste
More info here: http://www.martinsflowermart.com