Caring for Roses

When I started Cerise Chérie, I had intended on sharing so much more than just recipes.  I wanted to let you in on all the little tips and secrets that I’ve found to make life easier and more beautiful.  As a photographer I’m constantly striving to find and reveal beauty in everything, and if I cannot find beauty, then I must make it.  Flowers provide endless inspiration for my work, whether it’s the pattern of veins in a leaf, or the way petals are so intricately intertwined, or the way afternoon light falls across them defining otherwise hidden shadows and highlights.  They are a huge part of my life at home and at work.  Not only do flowers provide an ever-changing centerpiece for the kitchen table, but I use them in almost all the photos I shoot – both for this blog & for the work I do for clients.

Roses are especially sensitive and delicate once they have been cut.  Have you ever purchased a bouquet of roses, or received them as a gift, only to find them wilted and droopy the next day?   I absolutely love them, but here’s a little secret – I almost never buy them from the florist.  Instead I pick them up at the grocery store, usually as an afterthought or an impulse buy on my way to checkout.

Here are a five tips I’ve found to give grocery store roses a little extra life.

  • As soon as you get them home, cut at least 2 inches off the bottom of the stems.  For most other flowers I’ve found that taking only 1 inch off will do, but for flowers with woody stems, like roses, they need at least two.  Then cut a small slit in the base of the stems (about 1 inch up the length of the stem) to help the roses absorb more water.
  • To make your own cut flower food, add 1 Tablespoon white vinegar + 1 teaspoon sugar + 1/4 teaspoon bleach to a vase full of lukewarm water (roses will absorb warm water better than they will water that is ice cold.)
  • As you arrange the flowers, be sure to remove all the leaves that will be below the water level.  Then gently spread out the outer petals to give them a more open & romantic look.
  • Recut the stems & change the water every other day.  As the roses become shorter I will move them to a smaller vase, or separate the bouquet into two vases.
  • Keep the roses away from fresh fruit.  The gasses from the ripening fruit will cause the roses to age more quickly.

How to care for cut roses

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