How to Cut Roses

Stop and smell the roses, then whip out a pair of pruning shears and bring the blooms home with you. To make your beautiful bouquet last longer, cut the stems at an angle so they can get enough water, trim the lower leaves, and place the roses in a clean vase filled with water. Feed them regularly and you’ll be able to enjoy your roses for 1 to 2 weeks.


EditTrimming the Stems

  1. Choose pruners or scissors with sharp blades to cut the stem cleanly. You don’t want to crush the waterways in the stem. The sharper the blade of the pruners or garden scissors, the easier it will be to trim the stem without squeezing it too hard.[1]
    Cut Roses Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • A pair of shears or scissors with a smaller head are best for reaching into thick bushes.
    • As opposed to flat blades, curved blades tend to make the cleanest cuts.
    • Some pairs of scissors and shears have a “cut and hold” feature that holds onto the stems when they’re cut so they don’t fall to the ground.
    • Clean the blades often with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  2. Cut the roses in the early morning, before 10 a.m. Roses are most hydrated and have the highest respiration in the morning hours. Never cut the roses during the middle of the day. That’s when they’re driest and weakest.[2]
    Cut Roses Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • If you can’t cut the flowers in the morning, late evening is the 2nd best time for cutting.
  3. Look for roses whose outer petals have just started to open. This means that the rose is in the late bud stage. The exterior petals should be unfurled but the entire flower shouldn’t be completely open.[3]
    Cut Roses Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • The number of petals a rose variety has can affect which blooms you cut. For example, roses with more petals, like the Moonstone or St. Patrick types, can be cut at a more open stage. If you aren’t sure which variety you have, ask your local nursery or look at a gardening book or website.[4]
  4. Trim the stems at a 45 degree angle, close to the base of the bush. Cutting the stems on an angle prevents them from sitting flat on the bottom of a vase, which would stop water from flowing up the stem. Longer stems allow you extra length at the end to trim off if you need to fit a vase, so cut them as low to the ground as you can.[5]
    Cut Roses Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Cut stems from the front of the bush. The stems in the back haven’t been exposed to as much sunlight, so they’re usually weaker.
  5. Set the stems in a bucket of cool water immediately after cutting them. This does not need to be your vase. Instead, use a bucket with a large enough opening for you to work inside, in case you need to.[6]
    Cut Roses Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • The water level in the bucket should not be so high that it gets the flowers wet. Only the stems should be wet.
    • You can buy buckets specifically for flowers at a garden store, nursery, or online retailer.
    • If you’ve used the bucket before, make sure you thoroughly clean and sanitize it with soap and water before placing the roses inside.

EditDisplaying Your Cut Roses

  1. Wash a vase thoroughly with soap and warm water to sanitize it. This is different than the bucket you originally placed the roses in. A clean vase is essential to keep your roses fresh, since any bacteria left in the vase can kill the blooms. Use a bottle brush to get all the way down inside the vase.[7]
    Cut Roses Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Run your vase on a normal cycle in the dishwasher if it’s dishwasher-safe.
  2. Remove any leaves that sit below the water line. This prevents any bacteria that was on the leaves from contaminating the water. Use scissors to snip off the leaves as close to the stem as possible or pluck them off with your fingers.[8]
    Cut Roses Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Don’t remove all of the upper leaves, though. Otherwise, the roses won’t be able to pull water up the stem.
    • If you notice any leaves drop into the water while you’re arranging the stems, fish them out immediately so they don’t dirty the water.
  3. Recut the stems another , keeping them underwater. This makes sure there are no air bubbles clogging the waterways in the stems. Do not pull them out of the water while you’re cutting them.[9]
    Cut Roses Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle, just like you did when you trimmed them from the bush.
    • If you need to make the roses shorter to fit the vase, it’s okay to cut the stems more than .
    • You can wear a pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands from the thorns on the stems.
  4. Set the rose stems inside a vase filled 3/4 of the way with water. Lukewarm or cool water is best for roses. The more flowers you have in the vase, the bigger the vase and the more water you’ll need.[10]
    Cut Roses Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Don’t overcrowd the roses in a small vase. They’ll wilt faster because they won’t get enough water.
    • If you want to extend the life of your cut roses, sprinkle plant food into the water. You can buy premade plant food at a garden store, or make your own at home. of white vinegar
      * of sugar
      * of bleach

      Combine all of the ingredients and pour the mixture into the water in the vase.[11]}}

EditCaring for Cut Roses

  1. Keep the roses in a cool place, out of direct sunlight. Heat or too much sun will cause cut roses to wilt faster. Avoid placing them on a windowsill or in a room that’s not temperature-controlled like a sunroom.[12]
    Cut Roses Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • Placing the roses in the refrigerator when you aren’t displaying them, like overnight, will help them last longer.
    • Avoid putting roses near fruits or vegetables that are ripening. The produce emits ethylene gas, which ages cut flowers.
  2. Change the water everyday to prevent bacteria from growing. Dirty water will cause your roses to die much faster. If you’re unable to replace the water every day, do it was often as possible to keep your roses alive longer.[13]
    Cut Roses Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Don’t use softened water. It contains salt, which is bad for the roses.
    • If the water turns cloudy, change it immediately.
    • When you change the water, don’t forget to put more plant food in the vase, too.
  3. Recut the rose stems every 2 to 3 days. Cut them on a 45 degree slant to prevent the waterways from clogging and encouraging more water flow. You don’t need to cut them much shorter. A simple trim will do.[14]
    Cut Roses Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • Make sure your scissors or pruners are clean before you cut the stems.
    • If you can’t cut the stems underwater in the vase, pull them out to trim them. Just return them to the water immediately after cutting them so they don’t dry out.

EditThings You’ll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Bucket
  • Vase
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Bottle brush
  • Plant food

EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

EditQuick Summary

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