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10 Tips for Cutting and Displaying Roses


1946 AARS Winner - Rosa 'Peace'

1946 AARS Winner - Rosa 'Peace'

Courtesy of the All America Rose Selection

There is no flower more suitable for cutting than the rose. Strong, sturdy stems, buds that open slowly and elegantly and the bonus of fragrance make roses a favorite in a cutting garden.

Hybrid teas especially lend themselves to cutting. Hybrid tea roses generally produce one perfect blossom at the end of the each stem. Virtually all hybrid tea roses are repeat bloomers throughout the growing season and each blossom may have over 60 petals and be as large as 5 inches across.

Whatever your rose preference, enjoy your blooms even longer with these tips for cutting roses.

10 Tips for Cutting and Displaying Roses

  1. Cut roses in after 3 in the afternoon, when they are highest in food reserves.

  2. Chooses rose buds that have already begun to open, but that are no more than 1/3 to ½ fully open.

  3. Always use clean, sharp pruners to prevent damaging the rose canes and spreading disease.

  4. Leave at least 3 leaves on the stem, to feed the plant.

  5. Remove all leaves that would be below the water line.

  6. Get your roses into water as soon as possible. Bring a bucket of water with you when you cut. If you cut the roses outside without water, re-cut the stems indoors either underwater or immediately plunge them into water.

  7. Use either a floral preservative or add a splash of a lemon/lime soda or even a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon of sugar to the water in the vase.

  8. Change the water whenever it starts to get dirty.

  9. Let your cut roses have a few hours in a cool spot out of direct sunshine before you display them. This conditioning extends their vase life.

  10. If your roses seem to be wilting, water is not able to flow through the stem. Re-cut the stem bottoms and submerge them in very warm, (not so hot you can’t touch it) water and let them sit for about an hour before replacing them in the vase.

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