How to Cut Long Stem Roses


Roses have long been a symbol of love and are the most commonly given flower on the market. Roses are prized for their diverse color and delicate scents. Long stemmed roses make a long lasting, beautiful flower arrangement that will fill your home with color and fragrance. Roses are easy to grow and just as easy to pick if you follow a few rules.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp garden shears or knife
  • Bucket or a container
  • Gloves
  • Rose de-thorner
  • Vase
  • Water your rose bush well the day before you plant to pick the flowers to make sure the rose bushes are well-hydrated.

  • Pick the flowers in the morning before the day has started to warm or in late afternoon as temperatures cool. At these times the flowers are less stressed and will last longer after you pick them.

  • Use sharp, clean garden shears to cut your roses to avoid spreading diseases. Wipe the blades of your cutting instrument with rubbing alcohol before and after you cut, making sure to allow the alcohol to dry before storing.

  • Select flowers that are still in the bud stage with the first two petals just beginning to open.

  • Cut at a 45-degree angle, leaving at least two sets of leaves on the stem of the rose bush. Leaving these leaves on the rose plant assures the health of your rose plant and the re-growth of flowers for later cutting. Immediately after cutting, place the roses in a bucket or container of water.

  • Remove the lower leaves off the roses stem and outer petals of the flower. Re-cut the stem under water to remove the bubble that formed when you cut it outside and allow the stem to take in moisture. If desired, remove the thorns of the rose with a rose de-thorner.

  • Place the stems immediately in water that is slightly warmer than room temperature, but not over 100 degrees F.

  • Arrange your roses in a clean vase to your desired specification. Do not overcrowd the roses or place them in direct sunlight to assure a long vase life.

Tips & Warnings

  • Flower preservative can be added to the vases water to give your roses added nutrients.
  • Always wear gloves when handling roses to avoid cuts from their thorns.

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  • Photo Credit white rose image by Liz Van Steenburgh from
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