As nice as it is to receive cut roses for Valentine's Day, keeping them alive is a challenge. When they are cared for properly, roses should last between seven and fourteen days. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your roses for as long as possible.
Sanitizing Your Vase
Before you put your new Valentine's Day roses in water, you should take some time to sanitize the vase that you are planning to use. Wash it out with soap and water, and soak it in a five percent solution of bleach and water for a few minutes. This equals out to one cup of bleach per gallon of water.
Using the Right Water
The health of your roses can be affected by what is in your water. Anything with salt in it will shorten your flowers' life, so softened or fluorinated water shouldn't be used if you can help it. It's best if you use purified water, especially if it's lukewarm. Water that is too cold or too hot (anything above 70 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot) could kill your flowers.
As for how much water you should be using, try to keep your vase two-thirds full. The foliage should stay above the water, so add some pebbles to the bottom of your container if it is too tall. Replacing your water every couple of days will help extend your roses' life as well.
Cutting Your Roses
While roses you get for Valentine's Day are usually already cut, you should cut them again before you put them in a vase. Use a pair of pruning shears that will cut through the stems without crushing them if you can. Otherwise, find a very sharp knife or a pair of scissors. Remember, the idea is to cut the stems, not crush them. Cut the last inch of stem off the roses at a 45-degree angle before you put them in your vase, and continue to do this every few days.
Keep Your Roses Out of Direct Sunlight
Even though plants need sunlight to thrive, direct sunlight will damage your cut roses. Keep them in a place where they will get plenty of ambient light, but avoid keeping them right next to a large window.