How Long Do Roses Last?

A rose bouquet is a gift that expresses intense emotions and can be used to mark special occasions for a loved one. Whether you have been gifted roses or you purchased them from your local florist, we’re sure you want to enjoy the blooms and fragrance longer. You may be wondering how long roses will last.

The following factors might determine the lifespan of a rose;

  • The type of rose
  • The period the rose went without water after being cut
  • The quality/health of the plant from which it was cut

Most freshly cut roses should last up to one week if properly tended. A common mistake that people always make is forgetting to cut the stems before placing them in a vase. If you cut roses and do not put them in water, they can only last up to a few hours. 

So, if you are planning to gift a rose flower to your Valentine's date, you should probably do so within a few hours. If you’re dealing only with the petals, plucked out fresh rose petals can be stored up to 3 days before they get wilted. You can also dry the flower petals from special occasions like your wedding night and save them for memories.

How To Make Roses Last Longer

To get the most out of your rose bouquet and keep it looking fresh and beautiful, you need to take optimum care of the flowers. Here are a few flower care tips.

  • Cut the stem. Use a clean, sharp knife or garden shears to cut one or two inches off the stem at a diagonal angle. This will allow better absorption of water while in the vase than when they lie flat at the bottom. Using a blunt knife may damage the cells of the flower and inhibit the proper absorption of water. Ensure that you do not cut it too short as you will need to trim it again in a few days. This will help the blooms stay fresh one extra week.
  • Trim the leaves. Removing the submerged leaves will prevent the bacterial rot that hinders water absorption. Also, be keen to clear out the loose leaves that may fall into the vase water. You can also remove the guard petals, which are the rose flower’s outermost petals, to allow the flower to fully open up, subsequently enhancing your bouquet’s appearance.
  • Use fresh water and flower food. Thoroughly clean your vase with antibacterial soap and warm water and fill it with water at room temperature. The water should cover at least half the stem. Add in a packet of flower food and mix thoroughly. The mixture provides sugar that nourishes the fresh roses and hinders bacterial rot. Water and flower food should be changed every two to three days. Fresh water will not only prevent bacteria buildup but also help to avoid unpleasant smells. A tip is to replace the vase water whenever it seems cloudy.
  • Proper storage. To prevent your rose bouquet from drying quickly, avoid displaying it in direct sunlight or next to a source of heat. Open windows and ceiling fans can cause your roses to dehydrate. Placing your bouquet next to a fruit bowl may also make them wither quicker. Wondering why? Ripening fruits and veggies release ethylene gas that accelerates the wilting process.

Simple Short Term Preservation Techniques for Roses

There are other preservation techniques that you can use to extend the life of your rose bouquet. Here are some tricks and home remedies that you can try to increase the longevity of your flowers:


It turns out that this chemical compound works magic in more than whitening garments. Adding small amounts of bleach to the vase water keeps the blooms fresh for longer. The bleach keeps the water from getting cloudy and helps fight bacteria that cause rot.


When you serve yourself a glass of vodka, you can use a few drops of it to preserve your roses. The alcohol properties inhibit the production of ethylene, a ripening gas, thus slowing the wilting process.


Have you ever wondered why florists refrigerate their flowers? How long could roses possibly last in the fridge? Low temperatures favor the freshness of flowers, as it slows aging. The trick is to refrigerate the roses overnight in their vase with water and remove them during the day. Maintaining a controlled temperature will keep them fresh for a long time.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Sugar

Mix two parts of the apple cider vinegar with two parts of water. This mixture acts as an antibacterial agent and inhibits bacterial growth. Adding sugar to the mixture will provide food that will be absorbed by the flowers. This keeps the bloom fresh for longer as they will become well-nourished.


Roses can also do with a dose of Aspirin. Dissolving it in vase water lowers the water’s pH level, making it light enough to seep through the flower faster. This keeps the petals hydrated, thus preventing wilting.

Copper Coins

Do you have any pennies lying around in your house? You can drop a copper penny in with your fresh bouquet. Wondering how this will help? Well, copper acts as an acidifier that fights bacteria growth. It also causes your blooms to open up fully, exposing their beauty.


You’re not the only one who can enjoy this refreshment. Pouring a small amount of soda in a vase of fresh flowers makes them last longer and even smell sweeter. Soda contains sugar that nourishes your blooms, making them look healthier and open up more.

Long Term Preservation Techniques For Roses

Another method that you can experiment with to increase the lifespan of your blooms is drying. This is a commonly used preservation method that may work for your bouquet. There are various ways to dry your flowers;

Hang Them Upside Down

Tie your bouquet with a string and hang it upside down, and leave it to dry. Ensure you place it in a dry, well-ventilated area.

Microwave Them

Yes. Petals can also be microwaved. Simply wrap them in a paper towel and put them in the oven for around 3 minutes. You can adjust the time until they are completely dried out. Store the dried petals in an airtight container.


Collect sand at the beach and bury your petals in it until they dry out. The sand sucks in moisture from the roses, thus preserving them longer.

Air Drying

You can arrange your freshly plucked petals on a tray and place them outside in direct sunlight. This process must be repeated until the petals are completely dried out for proper storage.

Use a Freeze Dryer

This process is more technical and should preferably be handled by a professional to avoid freeze burns. Afterward, you can store your roses in the fridge.

Coating Your Petals with Epoxy Resin

Epoxy Resin is used in the manufacture of adhesives and paintings. Immersing your rose petals in it will preserve them as it locks out moisture. This technique is commonly used in decorative artwork and furniture. This is because the resin sets permanently; therefore it is advisable to place the petals in a container or a canvas as you will not be able to move the petals again.

Pressing Your Petals

Have you ever received a long-stemmed rose from a secret admirer and wished you could keep it forever? Well, you can pluck out the petals and carefully place them in a heavy book without overlapping. Close the pages and put a heavy object on top of the book to keep the petals pressed down. After several weeks you will end up with dried, flattened petals that can last for a long time.

Sadly, most guidelines and tips will only keep your roses fresh for a little while. You will probably need to discard the wilted bouquet and replace it with a fresh one. How do you know it is time to change them out?

The petals and leaves of your blooms may appear discolored. This is a sign of expiration. When your petals begin to feel slimy, they should be discarded immediately.

Real Roses That Last A Year®

At Venus ET Fleur®, we believe that the gift of a gorgeous floral arrangement should last much longer than a week. With Real Roses That Last A Year®, we now offer a garden of long-lasting flowers in vases and boxes of numerous shapes, sizes, and stunning colors—including exclusive collaboration pieces. Give the timeless gift of roses without the disappointment of quick wilting petals. Browse our fine selection of real roses to find a luxurious arrangement perfect for your next occasion.