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How to Revive Your Valentine’s Day Roses

How to Revive Your Valentine’s Day Roses

Valentine’s Day has just come to a close, as did one of my favorite holidays: National “Discounted Chocolate” Day.  Unfortunately, you’ll find that many of your cut roses have already started to droop or wilt, even after being placed in water immediately.  You might even wonder if there’s a way you can revive those flowers to save them for a few extra days of beauty.  The good news is that yes you can, and it’s a fairly simple process, too.  As an alternative, you could grow your own roses, giving you fresh flowers every day!

Reviving your Roses

The longest lived cut roses are usually purchased from respected florists, but you can get a decent span of life from your own roses without too much trouble.  If your rose is beginning to droop or wilt, you need to revive it first.  Use a knife (not scissors, which can cause bruising) to cut off the base of the stem.  Make a diagonal cut (similar to the cuts that most florists use) about ½ to ¾ of an inch from the end.  This cut will remove damaged and waterlogged xylems, the nutrient transporting veins of a plant, and allow for water to flow in the plant again.  Then, immerse the entire rose in warm water for around 20-40 minutes.  This should revitalize your plant and restore the drooping stem to its earlier vigor.

Why does this work?  The cells of a plant are filled with water, drawn up through osmotic pressure by the vein-like xylems.  This pressure reinforces the stem of the plant, but pressure is only built up if the density of the water outside of the plant is higher than that inside the plant and the xylems within the stem are undamaged.  If the water is contaminated or the xylems are damaged, water cannot be drawn into the stem, causing it to droop.

Once you’ve restored the rose, place it into your new vase.  Many restaurants use a very tiny amount of chlorine in their vases to keep the water clear.  Clean water is beneficial to the rose, but be careful not to use too much.  You might be better served to use chlorine for cleaning the vase first, then use fresh water with a flower preservative instead.  Be sure to remove any branches or leaves that would be under water.  Keep your roses in a cool area, out of direct sunlight to help them last their longest.

Grow Your Own

Image used courtesy of T. Kiya
Image used courtesy of T. Kiya

Growing your own roses in a greenhouse or grow room is an excellent way to ensure you have access to beautiful roses year round.  Roses well-suited for hydroponics, with an NFT (nutrient film technique) system being the most common type used for roses.  While there are many different cultivars (breeds) of roses, you should decide between the general types:  Climbing, shrub, or hybrid.  With a climbing rose (the most common) you’ll need a trellis for the roses to ascend while they grow.  Your NFT mat should be set up in a place that gets some direct sunlight and is not too drafty.  It’s also a good idea to install a few supplementary grow lights to help boost or control your roses’ growth throughout their life-cycle.  Carefully monitor the pH value of your solution, keeping it between 6.5 and 7.5, and maintain the health of your roses with careful pruning of dead branches and leaves.  With a little practice, planning, and care, you’ll have your own beautiful roses that you can cut and share for next Valentine’s Day, or any day of the year.

Cutting and cleaning the water for your roses can help them last a few extra days, giving you more enjoyment from that special gift.  Hydroponically grown roses are also a fantastic way to express your feelings or decorate your home, and they’re fairly easy to set up.  If you’re proud of the roses, or any flowers you’re currently growing, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below, and we’d especially love to see your progress.  Just send us an image through FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusLinkedInPinterest, or Instagram!

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