Wilting cut roses is what we want to avoid. Cut roses in a lovely vase are a welcome addition to your home. They provide a nice decoration and pleasant aroma. The ladies love receiving them and the man in their life loves to give them. wilting cut rosesUnfortunately, after a few days the decoration losses its luster and they start to wilt and then you have wilting cut roses. This cannot be avoided but can be delayed with the proper preparation and care.

Premature wilting is not always a sign of an old rose. It usually indicated that air is trapped in the stem and the stem needs to again be cut. Submerge the entire rose including the stem and leaves in a pan of warm water or bathtub. The rose usually revives again within an hour and can be replaced in the arrangement. If they drink in air it could cause wilting cut roses.

Not cleaning the vase will insure that the pores in the stems will not be able to get the water to the bloom and then you will have wilting cut roses. You will need to carefully wash the vase with household bleach. A half a teaspoon full will do the trick. Rinse the vase completely with warm water to get out the bleach.

Place under running water and cut the bottom of the stems, about one half inch, at an angle. Remove the leaves that will show below the waterline of the filled vase. These leaves will get rotten and cause disease. Immediately place in room temperature water to avoid air bubbles.

Change the water daily and add rose food.

Ripening vegetables and fruits give off ethylene gas and hasten the ageing of the roses. When displaying them also keep them away from fruits and vegetables. Smoke from cigarettes will also shorten rose life.

Some immature roses that have wilted at the neck (the stem just below the flower) can not be revived. You may want to float the bloom in a rose bowl.

The primary cause of dying roses or wilting cut roses is extreme fluctuations of temperature. Single drooping roses are a symptom of lack of water and food.

Some typical problems that occur are:wilting cut roses

Flowers drooped in a day and stems are limp or neck is bent. Flowers were probably dry too long. You will need to re-cut the stems.

Roses did not open. Flowers were probably harvested too early or they may have been too old. Consider placing roses in rose bowl.

Roses opened too fast and did not last. Use of too warm water was probably the cause.

Petals were drooping in a day. This may be due to their age, water problems or ethylene exposure. (From fresh fruit and vegetables)

Remember to keep your roses away from direct sunlight and heating vents and away from drafts. Change the water as discussed previously.

Air bubbles and bacteria are the prime causes of wilting cut roses. To prevent air bubble blockage you need to make a new stem end while holding under water. Bacteria can be managed by your rose preservative. The usual failure of roses is the use of plain water, forgetting the food.

More Fresh Cut Flower Care

Following these 6 easy flower care tips… will help to increase the longevity of your fresh cut flowers.

How can I make my flowers last longer?
Certain varieties of fresh cut flowers last longer than others. Carnations, for example… can remain vibrant for long periods. Roses have a shorter vase life, but are prized for their special and delicate beauty. When buying flowers, be sure to ask the staff at how long you should expect your arrangement to last. Whatever variety you choose, a little TLC will go a long way to keep your flowers looking fresh longer.

Essentials for your flowers…
Keep your flowers in a cool area, 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your flowers out of direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, and direct drafts from the sides or above. Don’t place your flowers on anything that gives off heat such as TV’s or heating radiators. Avoid leaving your flowers in the car.

When your flowers arrive in wet Oasis foam…
Keep the floral foam soaked with water containing floral food. The floral shop should provide and extra packet with your arrangement. Be sure to follow the instructions on the floral food packet.

When your flowers are arranged in water…
Keep the vase filled with water containing floral food provided by the florist. Be sure to follow the instructions on the floral food packet.

If the water in the vase becomes cloudy… replace the entire contents of the vase with fresh water and new floral food. Re-cut the stems with a sharp knife removing 1″ to 2″ of the stem. Remove any leaves that will be below the water line to discourage bacterial growth that can clog the stem of the flowers.

When your flowers have woody stems and branches…
Cut the stems with sharp pruning shears. Place the stems in tepid water containing fresh floral food… to promote flower opening.

Why use floral food… and what is it?
Floral food is a combination of ingredients that help to nourish the flowers and discourage bacteria growth in the water. It is one of the best… and easiest ways to extend the life of your flowers. It is very important to follow the directions on the package. Improperly mixed floral food can do more harm than good!


Caring for Cut Roses


Here is some expert advice on caring for your cut roses in a vase. Whether you cut them from your garden or buy them from a florist, these tips will help you make them last and make them look their brightest and fullest. Scroll to the bottom for a bonus video on how to arrange a dozen roses like an expert!

Follow these simple steps to get the maximum vase life and enjoyment from your fresh cut roses:

  1. Hydration, hydration, hydration! Whether you receive cut roses or buy them yourself, get them into water as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have time to arrange them in the desired vase right away, it’s important to place them into some container of water until you can get to them.
  2. Use warm water. Prepare the vase first by cleaning it thoroughly. Then, fill it ¾ full with lukewarm water (100°F to 110°F, about the same temperature as bath water). Warm water can be absorbed by the flower with greater ease than cold water, allowing the water and nutrients to travel up to the bloom as quickly as possible.
  3. The importance of flower food. Be sure to add flower food to the water according to package directions. Florists include these packets with all cut flower bouquets, and they really work!
    Flower food contains three key ingredients that work together to prolong the life of your flowers: a food source for continued flower development, an acidifier to control the pH of the water, and a biocide to kill harmful bacteria.
    If for some reason you do not have commercial flower food, you can make your own! Just add 3 teaspoons of non-diet lemon-lime soda (to serve as the food source and the acidifier) and 1 teaspoon of bleach (to kill the bacteria) to one quart of warm water.
  4. Eliminate sources of bacteria in the water. Before placing the flowers into the water, remove any foliage that would fall below the water line. Foliage in the water causes bacteria to grow which will shorten the vase life of the flower.
  5. How to properly cut stems. If your flowers were shipped with water vials to keep them hydrated, remove them. Then, cut the stems. Ideally, you should cut about an inch from the bottom of each stem, at an angle, while holding the bottom of the stem under water. Once the stem is cut, place it immediately in the vase.
    By cutting under water, the rose will immediately start to absorb water, preventing any air bubbles from forming in the stem. Cutting at an angle maximizes the amount of water that can be absorbed by the stem. Both these things prevent blockage of the flow of water to the bloom, which is where the water needs to get!
  6. Repeat. For optimum vase life (over 7 days), repeat these steps every three days–take the flowers out of the vase, and clean your vase with hot water. Then, refill the vase with clean, warm water and flower food; cut your stems an inch under water; and place back in the vase.
    On a daily basis, check the water level and add warm water as needed.

Showcasing your flowers

  1. Where to display your roses. Display your flowers in a cool place, away from direct sunlight and drafts. Avoid displaying your flowers near a direct source of heat or any extreme temperatures, such as a window with strong sunlight, heating and cooling vents, and appliances that give off heat.
  2. Give roses a “face-lift” by gently removing discolored or drooping petals from roses to give them a fresh, just-received appearance even after several days.
  3. Keep your flowers away from ripening fruit. These give off ethylene gas, which shorten the life of cut flowers.
  1. If your roses wilt, they can be revived. Submerge the entire rose under water, such as a sink or bathtub. In about 30 minutes to an hour, the rose will have absorbed enough water to become replenished. Before putting it back into the vase, remember to cut off one inch of the stem under water using a sharp knife or scissors.


A fresh rose can last for 10-14 days. Poor handling from the grower to the merchandiser will reduce longevity dramatically.

For maximum vase life, it is important that the flowers are conditioned properly.
Roses do not like to be out of water for too long of a period of time, so as soon as you buy/receive them, remove the lower leaves, put the roses in a bucket of warm water with floral preservative and recut each stem 1/2-1 inch. Fill a vase with tepid water and freshly mixed preservative and immediately transfer the flowers into the vase.

Re-cutting under warm water (100-110 degrees) facilitates faster water uptake and removes any blockage caused by air, bacteria and debris. A rose stem is like a drinking straw, water will flow with in 2 seconds. If you don’t put the stem in water immediately after cutting, air will block the water from going up the stem. This is especially beneficial for flowers with tight buds.

According to an AMF, here are some typical problems that may arise.

Stems are limp and flowers drooped in a day
Bent neck syndrome is usually due to water-related problems. Flowers may have been dry too long and the stem may be blocked. Recut the stems as directed and hydrate in tepid water.

Roses did not open
Hydration problem (water uptake) Flowers may have been harvested too early with the buds too tight or the roses may be too old.

Flowers opened too fast and didn’t last long
“Blowing” of roses is temperature related – use of too warm water. However there are new varieties that open quickly but they last a long time after opening.

Petals started drooping in a day
Premature petal drop may be due to age, temperature, water problems or ethylene exposure.

Keep your rose arrangement away from direct sunlight, heating and air-conditioning vents. Change the water every two or three days and add fresh preservative.

warm regards

Charlie Farricielli International President

Comments: 29

  1. Charlie Farricielli January 10, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Mehvish,

    You are very welcome.

    Please enjoy the flowers.


  2. Joy May 12, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Dear Charlie,
    Thank you for such an easy to follow and information Website! I have an issue with my newly-planted yellow rose (two) bush. The buds are turning brown before the rose even opens; I can’t figure it out. They do get the western sun which is now making 95 deg days here in NW FL, but I’ve never had the problem before, and wonder if it may be a rose mite or something causing the bushes to be diseased. I have some beautiful roses, but mostly just brown and withered as they try to open, still on the bushes. Thank you for your help, Charlie. Joy

  3. Charlie Farricielli February 3, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Mehvish,

    I’m glad I was able to help you.

    P.S Please enjoy the flowers


  4. Mehvish Durrani February 3, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Dear Charlie
    Thank you for the advice on Roses. I received a beautiful boquet of flowers with 6 yellow roses. The flower heads of the roses wilted and drooped so I took your advice and lay them in tepid water for an hour. Three of them revived and became straight and the other three although slightly drooped are faring much better. I have learnt so much from your page of facts and have printed them off for future reference.
    Kind regards

  5. Lola June 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Love the great information on roses . Have a flower garden with pretty roses growing great

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