How to Select and Care for Your Cut Roses

Roses never go out of fashion. They are by far the most popular flower gift and are found in most flower arrangements. They come in countless shades and are appropriate for every occasion. This blog focuses on how to best select and care for your cut roses and why roses have lost their scent.

Why don’t cut roses smell anymore?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved to shove my face in a bunch of roses and breathe in deeply. The aroma of roses is universal and one of the most popular scents (think body creams and perfumes). Since owning a florist, I’m yet to smell that fresh cut garden rose sent. Why is that? To answer, we need look to the science. To get the traits we want out of animals (increased milk production in cows), plants (seedless grapes) and flowers (specific colours), we breed them selectively. Using roses as the example, if a farmer wants a specific shade of rose, he will select two roses bushes that are closest to that colour and breed them. Some of the resulting offspring should resemble a rose colour closer to the desired colour. The farmer keeps selecting colours that get closer and closer to the desired shade. By selecting for specific traits, you lose something called genetic diversity and this is from the loss of other traits like smell. These days, roses are bred for longevity and colour which has resulted in a loss of smell. Many garden roses are not bred as selectively and maintain their gorgeous scent. To read more about this, check out the blog by The Real Flower Company.

Yellow roses babsi rose delivery george

How to make my roses last longer

Receiving roses as a gift is a wonderul gesture and to ensure they are a gift that keeps on giving, follow these steps to improve longevity.

If you’ve received a bouquet from a reputable florist, they will have removed all the excess leaves and thorns from the rose stems and cut the bases just before delivery. When you receive the bouquet, carefully unwrap the flowers, fill a vase of your desired height to about half-way and add the flower food provided. Cut the stems to the desired length (maybe a bit longer as you’ll trim the stems every few days) at a 45-degree angle and place the stems in the vase. Place the roses out of direct sunlight in a cool part of the room.

Change the water every few days and trim the stems to keep the flowers fresh. If it is a hot day, add a block of ice to the water to keep it cool.

How to select cut roses from the shop

Everyone deserves a beautiful flower arrangement in their home. Not only does it brighten the room but you can’t look at flowers and feel sad. When selecting roses from the shop, keep these few tips in mind. Roses from the shops aren’t refrigerated so their vase life will most likely be shorter (unless you get them as they are placed on the shelf). Roses from florists are generally kept in fridges till they are sold so their shelf life is significantly longer (hint: buy directly from florists). To tell how fresh the roses are, very gently squeeze a rose at the base of the petals. Roses that are still young and fresh will be firm, ones that are older and probably won’t open further are soft and squishy (or if you are South African, pap). Here is a great short video that shows you how to tell if the roses are fresh. Select the freshest bunch and follow the steps above.

Roses say everything that you need to. Whites convey sympathy, reds shout love, yellow and orange are pure joy. There is a rose colour that fits every occasion. 

Babsi and The Sunflower stocks white, cream, yellow, orange, red, light and cerise pink and purple roses. You can select one rose colour or a mixture. To purchase your rose bouquet, just follow this link:

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