Keep Them Growing: Two Options For Long-Lived Florist Roses

5 March 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Whether you want roses to mark a special occasion or just need some indoor color to brighten your home, choosing roses that can last a lifetime from your local flower shop can provide blooms for many years. You have two main options if you want your roses to last beyond a few weeks – potted miniature blooms or cut flowers that can regrow.

Option #1: Choose the Mini Variety

Miniature potted roses are entire plants, so there is very little effort involved in the beginning. They generally grow no more than 18 inches tall if you keep them potted, although they may reach up to 24 inches if you transplant outside.

To keep the roses alive in their container:

  • Make sure that the florist container has bottom drainage holes. If it doesn't, transplant the roses into a pot with bottom drainage that is the same size or up to one size larger than the original pot.

  • Feel the soil in the pot daily and water when the top 1 inch begins to feel dry. Empty any collected water from the drip tray after irrigating.

  • Provide the roses with full, all-day sunlight. You can set the pots outside in summer.

  • Cut off dead blooms as soon as they wilt. This discourages pests and disease while encouraging further blooms.

  • Fertilize monthly with a soluble rose fertilizer during spring and summer.

  • Prune back overgrown branches by up to a third of their length in late winter, before growth resumes. Re-pot every two years into a fresh soil and a slightly larger container.

Miniature roses are hardy in USDA zones 7 through 11, so you can also transplant them outdoors to a full-sun, well-drained bed at any time from late winter through early summer.

Option #2: Send Out New Roots

Most roses can grow roots from a single flower stem. Before choosing this option, check the variety with your flower shop. Some rose varieties are patented, so it is illegal to propagate them in this manner at home. Even if the rose isn't patented, keep in mind it may not do well if it is a variety grown on a grafted root stock. Experimentation is necessary to find florist roses that grow well from cuttings.

The basic method for rooting is:

  1. Remove the flower and strip the leaves off the lower part of the stem.

  2. Cut the bottom 1 inch off the stem. Dip the cut end into a rooting hormone, which is available at most flower shops.

  3. Insert the stem into a sterile, well-drained growing mix. Use a pot with bottom drainage.

  4. Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag and provide it with bright but indirect light. Water the soil so it stays moist but not soggy.

  5. Transplant the rose outside once it roots and begins putting on new growth. This can take six weeks or longer.

Roses are able to grow in most climates, as long as they have well-drained, fertile soil, moisture, and plenty of sunlight. Most florists provide the tools and the advice you need to keep your plants healthy and happy, so feel free to ask questions when selecting roses to display inside your home.

For more information, contact Joanna's Florist or a similar company.