How to Cut Roses During the Summer

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Cutting and displaying roses during the summer fills the house with color, fragrance and freshness. The process starts in the garden where it is necessary to choose the right stage of growth, the correct time of day and even the air temperature. Consider hybrid teas for cutting since they produce a beautiful rose at the end of the stem and bloom throughout the season. The size of the blossom reaches 5 inches across and may contain up to 60 petals. When cutting any rose leave three leaves on the stem to feed the plant. Begin as early as possible in the summer so you can enjoy the flowers all season long.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Sharp, sterile pruning shears
  • Bleach solution
  • Vase
  • Knife
  • Soap
  1. Water the roses deeply the night before they are to be cut. These are the times when the plant sugar will be at the maximum level in the blooms and upper canes. Do not spray the roses with pesticides the day prior to cutting.

  2. Cut summer roses from the garden in the early morning before 10:00 a.m. or in the evening after 6:00 p.m. The idea is to cut the roses while the climate is cooler. Use sharp pruning shears that have been sterilized in one part bleach to nine parts water.

  3. Remove the rose by cutting it at the point where the cane that is left after the cut is thick enough to support new growth, generally above the second five-leaflet leaf. Summer roses will be produced more quickly when the plant is healthy and strong.

  4. Sterilize a vase and small knife by washing with hot water and soap. Rinse them in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water and allow them to air-dry. Bacterial growth also clogs the openings in the stem, blocking the absorption of water and nutrients.

  5. Use a small sterile knife to cut the stems of the roses at a 45 degree angle while holding the stem underwater without wetting the upper foliage or blooms. The purpose of this is to keep air from entering the stem. Air forms bubbles in the moisture conductive tubes in the stem, making it more difficult for water to get into the stem and supply nutrients to the flower.

  6. Place the newly cut stems into the sterilized vase full of hot tap water, approximately 110 degrees, and a floral preservative, available at plant centers.

  7. Snip off the foliage that will be underwater in the vase. Keep the vase of flowers in a cool place above 42 degrees. Do not display the vase in direct sunlight or in the draft of an air-conditioner or furnace. At night move the vase to a cooler location.

  8. Change out the water every other day while observing the same process as you used to put the flowers into the vase the first time.

Tips & Warnings

  • If there is no one at home during the day, place the flower in a darkened cooler environment.

  • Choose long-lasting rose varieties such as Crystalline, Secret and Red Intuition.

  • Do not use softened water which may contain salt which is bad for the flower.

  • Do not store cut flowers in the refrigerator because there are too many cold spots that could damage the tender blooms.

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