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Top Tips to Preserve Your Romantic Roses This Valentine's Day

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Nothing can top the tradition of a romantic rose. A beautiful bouquet is the perfect gift for your other half at any time of the year, but even more so in the build up to Valentine’s Day. In 2022 this shows no sign of slowing, with online marketplace ManoMano seeing searches for ‘roses’ increase by 53% in January compared to the previous month.

The gift of a rose signifies your love for one another, and to ensure you make that love last, ManoMano is on hand to help with an array of top tips and advice on how you can preserve your Valentine’s Day roses and enjoy your flowers for a long period of time.

How to choose roses as gifts

The moment a flower is cut, it stops receiving the sap that will allow it to continue growing and open up. A good tip to make cut flowers last longer is to always choose those that have yet to open or are just beginning to open.

This advice is also useful for flowering plants bought in pots: if the flowers have yet to open, you can enjoy their bloom at home or in the garden.

How to preserve your roses in 7 steps

1: Remove the wrapping from the roses and put them in water quickly

Although it is usual to receive a bouquet of roses wrapped in cellophane, the plastic prevents the flowers from breathing freely. It is best to remove the plastic completely so that the flowers get all the oxygen they need.

Help them recover from stress: use a container in which you can completely submerge the stems for a couple of hours. It doesn't have to be the same vase in which you will place them later - a bucket will do.

2: Choose a vase and place it away from direct sunlight

It is important that the vase is very clean, with no traces of detergent. Rinse it several times if necessary and place it in a position where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. You don't want the sun to shine on the flowers as this will shorten their lifespan. Fill it halfway with water.

3: Check the flowers and remove any petals that may have fallen off

If they are tied up, some leaves may have become trapped. Remove any leaves that are going to be submerged in the water due to their position along the stem. Any part of the plant that falls into the water in the vase will begin to degrade, and its rotting will cause the appearance of bacteria.

This is where the famous trick of aspirin or drops of bleach comes into play: both prevent the formation of bacteria in the water, thus extending the shelf life of the bouquet.

4: Cut the stems diagonally every two or three days

Trim the stems using pruning shears, or a knife if you do not have access to them. Kitchen or craft scissors squeeze the stem before cutting it, so the part responsible for absorbing water is crushed.

5: Change the water in the vase every day

Cleanliness is vital for preserving roses. Change the water in the vase daily and wash it if necessary. You may need to use a smaller vase at some point if trimming the stems makes the large one unstable.

6: Take them outside at night

If it is not too cold, it may be worth taking the bouquet outside at night. The change in temperature will improve their oxygenation and lengthen their shelf life.

7: Remove the wilted flowers

It is equally important to remove the flowers that are getting damaged. The reason: it can cause the rest of the bouquet to wilt prematurely.

Drying a bouquet of roses to make it last forever

Roses are flowers that can be dried easily and with which we can form new compositions in our home. However, it is important to start the drying process when the roses are still in good condition. We recommend using one of these 3 methods:

Let the bouquet dry naturally in the vase itself.

Remove the water from the vase and add a centimetre of clean water. Absorption and time will take care of the rest, slowly dehydrating the flowers. They will be completely dry after a month or so.

Hanging the bouquet upside down

This is perhaps the oldest method, but you also need to know how to proceed: hang the bouquet upside down in a cool, dark place. Use hairspray to keep the petals in place. Let the hairspray dry thoroughly before handling.

Dry the flowers with salt or silica gel.

Salt absorbs moisture very well, and flowers are no exception. Use coarse cooking salt in a container or tray, form a layer of a couple of centimetres and place the flowers on it. Turn them over every day and let them dehydrate slowly.

The silica gel works very quickly but you will need enough to cover the entire bouquet. The most common way to proceed is to use an airtight container in which a layer of silica beads is formed on top of which the flowers are added. They are then covered with more gel and left to act for a week or a fortnight.

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