“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”—William Shakespeare
But how long will that sweet smell, and those beautiful colors, last once you’ve put them in a vase on Valentine’s Day?
If there were an official flower of Valentine’s Day, it would without a doubt be the rose. Roses have long served as a symbol of love, dating back to Greek mythology, and here, thousands of years later, they are still a symbol without parallel in that department.
Sales of the delicate red, white, pink, orange, purple and yellow blooms always spike around February 14. In 2018, a poll revealed that 48% of voters chose roses as their favorite type of flower to get on the holiday, and an estimated $2.3 billion will be spent on flowers this Valentine’s Day, according to Statista,
Now, with something of such beauty and sentiment, you want to make the last as long as possible. As uplifting as a fresh bouquet of roses may be, they will ultimately start to fade. Seeking to prolong that moment for all the Valentines out there, we have a few tips and tricks to share when it comes to maintaining your roses, whether it’s a single flower or an entire bouquet.
Eric Abby, owner of Abby’s Parkside Nursery and Florist Inc. in Wantagh, says two things should take priority above all others to make these flowers last long: “Re-cutting and using warm water.”
Roses should be submerged in hot water, Abby says, and must be regularly re-cut. “Every time you change the water—which should be about every four to five days—you should be using warm water and recutting them again and using a flower food,” he says.
Lighting, however, “doesn’t matter” when it comes to maintaining roses, says Abby, store owner for 35 years. If you’re thinking of placing roses on a front windowsill, that’s a lovely look, but from a preservation point there’s simply no need.
He also notes that while roses are beloved, at his family-owned garden center, mixed bouquets containing roses are more popular sellers than single roses and rose bouquets. Of course, Valentine’s Day sentiments can also be florally expressed with daisies, Gerbera daisies, carnations and spider-mums, just to name a few, but that does beg the question, even if you called them roses, would they smell as sweet?