How to Make Roses Last Longer

pink roses

Fresh roses are one of those joys in life that almost every seems to agree on.  No matter if my husband sends them to me, or I snag them for under $10 from Trader Joe’s, they just seem to cheer up any space.  However, keeping them looking good and making them last can be tricky.  Over the years, I’ve picked up tricks here or there on how to make your roses last longer and look fabulous for days at a time.  This post is all about those tricks and what works the best in my experience!  I’m breaking this down into steps in tutorial format, to make it easier.  Extra tips will be at the bottom of the post if you want to scroll through! And, as always, please share your tips in the comments!

roses tutorial

tutorial roses

1. Gather Your Supplies

I know, this is a no brainer.  But it’s a fancy way for saying “this is what you need.”  There are a few key supplies that I use for preparing roses:

  • newspaper (to cover your surface and make for easy clean up)
  • sharp scissors (I prefer fabric scissors for their sharpness and ability to cut at an angle)
  • flower food
  • Purification oil (I use Young Living)

The scissors make a huge difference in how easy it will be to cut your stems, and I personally prefer the fabric kind.  They are made to cut on a bias and are sharper than normal scissors.   The plant food can be any generic one that comes with your flowers.  Now, the Purification Oil is key.  We will discuss in more detail below!  I like to cover my table or counter with newspaper so that I can do everything on that and scoop it up right into the trash afterwards.

cutting roses

cutting roses

cut rose stem

2. Cut Stems and Trim Leaves

These are the two most important steps for preparing roses.  Cut your stems at an angle, like in the picture directly above.  This allows for more water to be soaked up by the flower, keeping them upright and preventing browning and drying.  Next, pull off any leaves that will be at or below the water line.  Just be cautious of thorns when doing this!  They can hide under the leaves, so if you have gardening gloves, wearing them will protect your hands!  These two actions will help prevent bacteria from getting the water and provide an open waterway for the rose to drink from.

rose tutorial

3.  Fill Your Vase With Room Temperature Water

In total honesty, I have read tips that have recommended using cold water or extremely hot water.  I find that room temperature water works best, but this could all be in my head, so do what works for you!

purification oil

purification rose food

4.  Add Your Extras

Ok, there are tons of articles on the internet about different things to add to your water to keep your roses alive.  I’ve heard everything from liquid bleach to copper pennies.  And I’ve tried most of those tricks with no luck.  There is only one that has worked for me – Purification oil.  I read about this in a Young Living Facebook group, gave it a tried, and haven’t done anything else since.  I add in two drops of Purification oil to the water with half of the packet of flower food and it’s worked better than anything else I have tried!  Now, I’m not personally a fan of the smell, but for what it does to make roses last, it’s worth it to me.

rose cutting tutorial

5. Maintain Your Flowers

If you want your roses to keep lasting, you will need to put in some work.  I like to change the water every other day (no more than that!)  I add back in the Purification oil and on the second water change, the remainder of the flower food.  Being on top of water changes is huge in keep your flowers pretty and takes very little time to do.  It is easy to forget, so I set a reminder on my phone for every other day!  And yes, I still forget sometimes even with that.

how to cut roses

rose bouquet


I’m not an expert by any means, but this has been working really well for me for the past couple of years!  Let me know if you try any of these steps or have some to share!


As always, thank you for taking the time to stop by!  Have a fabulous day!



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  1. Biana wrote:

    Love these tips! I learned the trimming the leaves part in a class I took and my world was rocked! xo, Biana

    Posted 9.23.19 Reply
    • Lindsay Newton wrote:

      It makes SUCH a big difference!

      Posted 9.25.19 Reply