How to Buy Fresh Roses

Fresh-cut roses can be a terrific way to express your emotions. There is an almost endless array of styles and colors to choose from, and each one represents a different sentiment. No matter what you are trying to convey, knowing how to buy fresh roses can help guarantee that your purchase lasts as long as possible, which allows you to get the most out of your investment and effort.


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    Determine what color of roses represent the emotion you are looking to express. Roses are very deliberate, and giving the wrong color may send the wrong message. Because these symbols are widely known, be sure that the color you choose matches to the correct feeling you want the receiver to know.
    • Red means love, pink is a great choice for admiration, yellow is for friendship, white stands for purity and can be used for weddings and funerals, orange is known for conveying passion, and purple is for enchantment or "love at first sight."
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    Inspect the fresh rose bouquet closely if you are buying flowers that are prearranged. The petals on each rose should be vibrant in color and free from wilting or brown edges, both of which indicate that the roses are older and may have a shorter lifespan.
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    Avoid purchasing any roses that are still tightly wrapped as these flowers may never open fully. Known as a "bullet," rose heads that are still very closed at purchase stand a good chance of staying that way. Instead of blooming, they may simply lose their outer petals and die.
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    Reject any roses that are completely opened. If a rose is fully blossomed, it has already reached the peak of its life and will not last as long as others might. The ideal time to purchase roses should be when the flowers are slightly opened. The petals should be a bit loose at the top of the rose head, which allows you to see that it has a decent chance of flowering.
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    Ask the florist when they received the rose shipment. Knowing when the flowers arrived can help you determine how old they are and how long they have to live.
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    Deliver the roses to their final destination as quickly as possible. Keep them in a cool, dark storage container if at all possible until they arrive.
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    Use a pair of garden shears or kitchen knife to cut the bottom 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) off of each rose stem at an angle.
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    Snip off any leaves or flower parts that will fall below the lip of the vase. The only things that should be inside the vase are the rose stems and water.
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    Place the roses in a vase of cold water. For optimal rose life, change the water every other day.
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    Set the vase of roses out of direct sunlight and away from heating vents or radiators. Roses will wilt and die very quickly if they are subject to any heat.


  • Longer stems on roses are harder to grow properly. Because of this, as a general rule when you are buying fresh roses, the longer the stems on the flower, the higher the cost will be.
  • If the heads of your roses are drooping, try filling a medium-sized container that is large enough to hold your roses with warm water. Cut the tips of the stems off each rose, and immerse the droopy roses completely in the warm bath. In order to get them to stay under water, you may need to use an object such as a washcloth or rag for weight. Leave them in this condition for approximately 2 hours, after which you can dry them off and replace them in a clean vase with cold water.

Things You'll Need

  • Roses
  • Storage container
  • Garden shears or kitchen knife
  • Vase
  • Cold water

Article Info

Categories: Flower Arranging and Floral Art