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Roses are fickle creatures, and like any cut flowers, they require proper care to be brilliant and beautiful. But what do you do when good roses go bad?

    Some problems aren’t curable, but many times, sickly stems can be saved. The following are some of the most common causes along with the best remedies to fix your roses.

bent neck

Causes
  • The most common cause is a lack of water and flower-food solution reaching the bloom.

  • Many things, such as improper cutting practices or cuts in the bark on the stems, can inhibit the flow of water and nutrients, causing stem clogging due to air or bacteria in the vascular system.

Solutions

  • Dethorn your roses carefully.

  • Recut the rose stems with a sharp blade, removing at least 1 inch; dip or place the stem ends into a hydration solution; place the stems into a properly mixed flower-food solution (preferably one formulated especially for roses, such as Chrysal RosePro™ Vase Solution or Floralife® Premium Rose Flower Food); then place the roses into a floral cooler, at 33 F to 35 F, and allow them to hydrate for at least two hours before selling or arranging them.

  • Always keep roses refrigerated—except for design time—at 33 F to 35 F, in clean buckets, and add properly mixed flower food, as needed.

  • If you arrange roses into floral foam, be sure they and the floral foam are fully hydrated first.

  • Some roses can be rehydrated. Completely submerge and hold roses under water. Recut stems, and keep submerged until necks become turgid again (one hour or as needed).

flowers open too fast

Causes

  • This is likely a high-temperature-related problem. Also some varieties just open faster than others.

  • The rose is too mature.

Solutions

  • Ask for varieties that open slower.

  • Place roses into a cooler immediately to rehydrate after shipping.

  • Buy fresher roses.

flowers don’t open

Causes

  • Flowers may have been harvested too tight.

  • This also could be a hydration problem. If stems aren’t properly hydrated and fed, flowers don’t develop properly.

Solutions

  • Be sure to buy roses that are harvested at the proper maturity.

  • Recut rose stems, and dip or place them into a hydration solution. Then place them into bright (but not direct) sunlight, in a warm (100 F to 110 F), properly mixed flower-food solution. Use flower food formulated especially for roses (e.g., Chrysal RosePro™ Vase Solution or Floralife® Premium Rose Flower Food), if possible.

rotted flower heads

Causes

  • The most common cause is Botrytis (gray mold), a fungus that develops when water sits on the blooms.

Solutions

  • Don’t let water sit on flower heads. Shake off water, don’t mist, and loosen or remove sleeves.

soft heads

Causes

  • Rose softness is often due to petal count. The lower the petal count, the softer the rose head.

  • This also can be due to insufficient water uptake or old roses.

Solutions

  • If you prefer firmer roses, ask your supplier for varieties with higher petal counts.

  • If dehydration is the problem, recut the stems, place them into a hydration solution, then place them into a warm (100 F to 110 F) properly mixed flower-food solution.

discolored flowers

Causes

  • Flowers are too old, haven’t been stored or transported cold, or have been fed incorrectly.

Solutions

  • Limit the time roses are kept outside of a floral refrigerator.

  • Store the roses in properly mixed flower-food solution, preferably one formulated especially for roses (e.g., Chrysal RosePro™ Vase Solution or Floralife® Premium Rose Flower  Food).

early petal drop

Causes

  • Petal drop can be caused by ethylene gas.

  • A lack of nutrients and/or water also can cause petals to drop.

Solutions

  • Protect your roses from sources of ethylene gas including ripening fruit, decaying flowers and foliage, automobile exhaust and tobacco smoke.

  • Make sure your purchases are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower level or during shipping.

  • Use flower food, and mix it properly.

malformed heads or wilted foliage

Causes

  • Ethylene gas can cause abnormalities.

  • Grower problems can also be the culprits.

Solutions

  • Protect your roses from sources of ethylene gas including ripening fruit, decaying flowers and foliage, automobile exhaust and tobacco smoke.

  • Make sure your purchases are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower level or during shipping.

  • See if the problem is consistent with one supplier, and if so, notify the supplier.

 


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