Roses

Care Tips

With proper care, roses should last from four to seven days.  To maximize the vase life, look for tight flowers that are just starting to open.  Once home follow a few simple care tips to extend the life of your blooms:

  1. When you get home, stand the wrapped flowers in water so they can get a good drink while you’re getting the vase ready.
  2. Fill a vase with water and allow it to come to room temperature.  If you are using floral foam, let it soak until it is fully saturated and sinks to the bottom.
  3. Add a packet of flower food to extend bloom life.  If you don’t have flower food, dissolve half a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a few drops of bleach in 4 cups of water to create a home-made substitute.
  4. Slant cut the stems to the desired length.  Flower stems naturally begin to seal their ends, so cutting them helps the flower to take in fresh clean water and extends their vase life. The shorter the stem the more water will feed the bloom.
  5. Remove any leaves that will be submerged as these will rot over time.
  6. Arrange stems to your liking, varying the height and position.  Add other flowers to the arrangement once all the roses are positioned.
  7. Roses are thirsty flowers, so check the water frequently and add fresh water to fill the vase.
  8. Change the water if it starts looking cloudy, rinse the stems clean  You may also want to re-cut the stems under water to help the flower uptake water.

About Roses

Colorful, fragrant, and graceful, it’s no wonder roses hold a special allure for romantics, artists, and designers! Their blooms span nearly the full color spectrum from feminine shades of demure pastels to pure saturated colors to bold confident hues in solid, striped or variegated petals. From the purest white to the darkest red, plus pink, yellow, orange, mauve, russet, and many shades in between, roses coordinate with any setting.  Their fragrance will fill a room with classic rose, citrus, sweet, or spicy notes. 

  Lavender roses express love at first site

It’s also not surprising that roses have accumulated deep symbolism and a devoted following.  They are America’s national flower, as well as the state flower of Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota, and the District of Colombia.  They’re June’s birth flower and the 15th and 50th wedding anniversary flower. New Year’s Day celebrates them with a parade and football game in Pasadena.

Probably most of all, roses are an irresistible indulgence and a way to express your true feelings.  When you’re tongue tied or can’t find the right words to express your feelings, there’s no better flower than roses to do the talking for you. Roses have long been used to send covert messages which are easily decoded if you know their secret language.  From love at first site, friendship, or true love to new beginnings, appreciation, and congratulations, there is a color to symbolize your heartfelt sentiment.

Language of Roses

The colors most associated with love and romance are red and lavender, while orange and coral represent passion and desire. Red roses are unmistakable expression of enduring love and romance.  Lavender roses express love at first site. They also express deep love and enchantment, making them a novel color to express your feelings.  Bright orange is a color of warmth, energy, enthusiasm, and desire. A bouquet of orange roses sends a clear message of passion and excitement.  Not ready to commit?  Coral roses send a toned down message of desire coupled with happiness. 

Yellow roses convey warms wishes of joy, appreciation, and friendship

Yellow and pink roses are traditionally associated with joy, appreciation, friendship, and admiration. They are a perfect way to celebrate graduations, engagements, and births. Yellow roses send a message of friendship, gladness, and delight.  Light pink roses convey happiness, joy and admiration. Deep pink roses express appreciation and and thankfulness. Innocence, purity, honor, and reverence are inseparably associated with white roses.  As such, they are popular flowers for weddings, christenings, and other new beginnings. Giving white roses says that you believe that your intentions are pure and that the recipient is worthy. 

White or peach roses are often sent as an expression of sincere sympathy. White roses express honor and reverence, often used as an expression of remembrance. Peach roses express appreciation and admiration. 

Here's a handy recap for easy reference:

Red - enduring love, romance

Lavender - love at first site, enchantment

Bright orange - passion and excitement

Coral - desire and happiness

Yellow - friendship, gladness, delight

Light pink - happiness, joy, admiration

Deep pink - appreciation, thankfulness

White - innocence, purity, honor, reverence

Peach - appreciation, admiration

The language of roses also has some noteworthy nuances other than color. Thornless roses in any color signify love at first site. All rosebuds represent innocence. The number or roses also has significance.  Although one dozen of red roses is still considered as one of the ultimate love signs, other numbers can temper or amplify the emotion.

1 rose – you are the one

2 roses – mutual love and affection

3 roses - shared love.  Traditionally given on the one month anniversary

6 roses – infatuation

9 roses – we’ll be together forever

10 roses - perfect love

Few flowers rival the rose for its range of colors and fragrance

12 roses - be mine

13 roses - friends forever

15 roses - I’m sorry

2 dozen roses - I’m yours

3 dozen roses - head over heels in love

50 or more roses - love that knows no bounds

Inspiration

A bouquet of roses from the supermarket or florist is all you need to create a simple and elegant floral arrangement.  With the vase as your inspiration, it’s easy to create a flower arrangement using roses that helps set the mood from care-free to decadent.  But why stop there when so many flowers pair well with roses to create simple but beautiful centerpieces, room accents, and hostess gifts?  Some of our favorite ideas for rose arrangements take full advantage of colorful roses paired with textured foliage, branches, and varying bloom shapes.

Modern

With strong straight stems, roses are ideal for creating a sculpted arrangement.  Arrange white and pink roses in concentric circles or alternating rows of color. Try creating vertical tiers by cutting the stems at varying lengths, adding branches to enhance the height.

Casual

When you think of cottages the first thing that comes to mind is roses, hydrangea, and lavender. Why not combine these for a casual bouquet? For an updated look, arrange apricot roses with chartreuse orchids, green hydrangea, and viburnum berries.

  Roses have an unmistakable allure in every shape and size

Classic

Roses and baby’s breath are a classic combination. 

Spring

While there are lots of sumptuous spring flowers like peonies, lilacs, and flowering branches, you sometimes need something to complement the pinks, purples, and yellows. There is nothing that compares to pink peonies bunched with pastel yellow and salmon roses, lavender roses mixed with fragrant chalky violet lilacs, or cherry blossoms, deep pink roses, and florist moss to draw you back into the room for a second look

Fall

Lean on roses in burgundy, mauve, eggplant hues that complement other fall foliage. Combined the ruffled leaves ornamental cabbage and draping branches of seeded eucalyptus with pastel pink and yellow roses for a feminine graceful centerpiece.  

Unexpected

Head to the produce aisle and look for shapes, textures, and colors that complement roses. Add herbs like parsley, rosemary, or oregano instead of traditional foliage. Use apples, pears, lemons, limes, or Brussels sprouts for structure.

 
What to know

RULES OF THUMB

  1. Use odd numbers of stems for an interesting design.
  2. Arrange roses first, then add the next type of flower to your arrangement.  This will help you position the flowers evenly.  
  3. The warmer the room, the shorter the vase life. For longest life, place the roses in a cool place, away from drafts, fresh fruit, radiators or direct sunlight.
  4. Keep fresh cut flowers away from fruits and vegetables, Ethylene gas, naturally given off by ripening fruits and veggies, is harmful to cut flowers

RESCUE TIPS

  1. If you need your roses to open in a hurry for a special event, place them in plenty of water in a warm, brightly-lit room.
  2. If some of the outer petals have turned brown, simply cut them off with scissors or remove the outer petal to restore the look of a fresh bloom.
  3. Who hasn’t been disappointed at finding their roses sadly hanging their heads down?  This happens when air has traveled up the stem, blocking the flow of water. Luckily this can be easily remedied!  Simply cut the ends at an angle, dip the freshly cut end briefly in one-inch of boiling water to release the air bubbles, then and quickly move them to very cold water.  After standing in cold water for about an hour their heads should perk back up. 
  4. If you've accidentally let your roses dry out, sadly this is often fatal. However, it's worth trying this emergency rescue remedy. Cut the bottom of the stems, wrap the flower heads in paper and submerge in boiling water.  Remove the paper and cut the stems again. Transfer the roses to a deep vase of cold water (almost up to their heads) for a few hours.

FURTHER READING

John Henry Floral Fan Deck App