Thursday, August 2, 2012

Special Care For Your Garden Roses

Preparation Tips for a Long Lasting Rose Display 

We all know that roses are among the most beautiful denizens of the garden, and for many years these magnificent flowers have been symbols of love and commitment.  If roses have one drawback, it would have to be that their blooms are fleeting, lasting only a week or so before fading away.  It is important, therefore, for gardeners and others to know how to get the most out of their wonderful flowers.
A long lasting display of roses begins even before the rose has been cut.  In order to give your roses the best possible start, it is important to ensure that your cutting shears are as clean and sharp as possible.  Dull blades will crush the stems, while dirty blades can introduce diseases and shorten the life of both the cut roses and the rose plant itself. 

When you cut the roses can make a big difference as well.  The roses should always be cut in the middle of the afternoon.  The nutrient levels will be highest at this time, providing the cut roses with their best possible start.
After the roses have been cut, it is important to care for them properly.  For longest life you should choose buds that are only about one third to one half open.  While full blooming roses are beautiful as well, they will not be as long lasting as the smaller buds.  At least three leaves should be left on each stem, but any leaves that will fall below the waterline should be removed. 

There are a number of different tricks gardeners and rose recipients can use to lengthen the life of these cut roses.  The first step is to fill a bowl with water which is as hot as possible.  It is important that the water be hot, but not hot enough to burn.  Place a quality rose preservative into the water, in addition to a drop or two of bleach.
After the water has been prepared, it is time to put the stems of the roses into the bowl, being careful not to let the flowers themselves come in contact with the water.  With the stems held under the water, carefully place the shears and cut about one quarter inch off of the bottom of each stem.  After the stems have been cut, the roses should be left in the bowl until the water has gone back to room temperature. 

While you are waiting for the water to cool, fill a vase with warm water.  Add some rose preservative, and a few drops of bleach, to the water.  After the water in the bowl has cooled, take the roses and add them to the vase.
It is important to keep an eye on the water in the vase, and to change it when it appears to become cloudy.  If the water does become clouded, take the roses out of the water, then refill the vase with hot water.  When you change the water, be sure to add a couple of drops of bleach.  After the water has been prepared, place the roses back in the vase and continue to enjoy them. 

If the roses begin to wilt, they can be revitalized and made to last even longer by repeating the first step you took before putting them in the bowl.  That is, cutting about 1/8 inch off the bottom of the stem.  The stems should be soaked for about an hour in a bowl of water, then put back in the vase.  This procedure should get you a couple of days of extra enjoyment out of your beautiful rose display.

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