Roses can cost a pretty penny, especially around Valentine's Day. To lengthen their life—and enhance their beauty—properly prepare them for an arrangement.


  • Select a vase that is about half as tall as your flowers.
  • Using floral tape, create a grid on your vase. (See "Using a Grid to Arrange Flowers" below.) Then fill with water and add a floral preservative. The water should be slightly higher than your body temperature.
  • With a garden shears or sharp knife, cut off any leaves and thorns that will be below the water line. Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands.
  • While holding the stems under running water, cut off at least 1 inch. The flowers should be about twice the height of your vase with several stems an inch or two longer for the center of your bouquet.
  • Arrange the flowers in the water as you cut them, starting in the center and working toward the rim. Fill in with other flowers and greens as desired.
  • Keep roses away from direct heat or sunlight and drafts. Add fresh water regularly and replenish the floral preservative from time to time.



Using a Grid to Arrange Flowers


Here's how to arrange your long-stemmed roses like a pro.


    Create grid with floral tape
  1. Place strips of waterproof floral tape parallel to one another across the top of the vase. Then place strips perpendicular to the first set to form a grid. Wrap a piece of tape to secure ends around the rim of the vase.
  2. Arrange flowers in vase
  3. Fill the vase with water. Insert flowers, placing taller ones near the center and shorter ones near the rim to create a rounded form. Fill in with greens and baby's breath, making sure to cover the tape on the rim of the vase.