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.
- 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.
- 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.