This is a frequent question comes up a lot from our brides and event planners. We typically recommend having roses delivered 2 days before an event date so they have time to hydrate and open up. So if you’re having a Saturday wedding, you would want your roses to arrive on Thursday. It’s best for roses to bloom at their own speed, but sometimes we know that might not work with your schedule. It’s a common problem for brides having a destination wedding who can’t get their flowers delivered until one day before the big day.
If you’re one of those brides or if you just simply need your roses to hurry and open up, then we’re sharing a few tips you can follow to get roses to bloom faster. The same tips would also apply to garden roses and in fact, most flower types! We put all the tips in a handy chart that you can pin for quick reference and read on if you want more detailed notes on each of these tips.
How to get roses to bloom faster:
Cut as much of the stem as possible
Cutting the stem down means less distance for water to travel up to the bloom. The less distance, the faster your rose blooms will hydrate. Make sure you cut at a diagonal. This maximizes the surface area of the stem that is drinking up the water!
You always want to remove any foliage that falls below the water line, but it’s also good to leave some foliage on the stem. The foliage helps roses to hydrate by helping to pull water into the stem. We won’t get technical about how exactly this works, but if you can leave about half the leaves on then great, but if you’ve cut down the stems much shorter from our previous tip, just remove whatever falls below the water (even if it ends up being more than half). If you don’t want any rose foliage in your arrangement, you can just pull them off right before you arrange the roses into their final bouquet or centerpiece.
Put your roses in deep warm water
Fill up your container with warm (not hot!) water. Roses hydrate better in warm water; and deeper water (at least 6”) provides a little more turgor pressure to push that water up through the stem.
Give roses enough space
If you’re prepping hundreds of roses or if you’re space constrained, this tip might be a little harder to follow, but it’s best to give roses some breathing room so air can circulate around the foliage and blooms. If you’re hydrating roses in 5 gallon buckets, we recommend around 24-30 stems per bucket. Cramming too many into one bucket doesn’t give blooms enough room to open and the lack of air circulation will make it harder for the roses to hydrate and it can also cause premature molding if moisture collects on the leaves and blooms.
Gently remove any guard petals
Removing the outer guard petals can help get roses to bloom faster. Guard petals are the rougher sometimes smaller and darker petals that are on the outer edge of the bloom. Just gently peel these away to help the blooms open up a little faster.
Place your roses in a bright spot
Keep hydrating roses in a bright, slightly warm room (70s to low 80s) to speed up the blooming process. But make sure they are not in heat and direct sunlight. You don’t want to overdo it and end up with wilted roses! The slight warmth and brightness will help roses to bloom faster.
Follow these steps and you should see the roses open up more quickly. Some rose varieties have a faster bloom rate than others so you may see some variation in opening speed between different roses. Also, some of these tips can shorten the vase life of your roses, but if your wedding or event is the next day, the roses will hold just fine for your event (and usually last at least a few days after if cared for properly!)
How to slow down the rose blooming process?
So what if you have the opposite question. How do you slow down the rose blooming process? This question has come up from brides and event planners who want to receive roses or garden roses on Friday for their event on a Tuesday. With proper care, you can certainly make sure your roses and garden roses look great 4 days after arrival. Just follow these steps:
Cut and hydrate roses
Follow our rose care and handling tips to initially hydrate your roses. Give them a fresh cut and place in clean water.
Keep roses in your coolest room and out of bright lights
Store the hydrating roses in the coolest room possible. A dark cool closet, basement or garage are great places to let the hydrating roses sit. Just make sure it’s not so cold that the roses freeze!
Store in fridge if needed
If you don’t have a cool room or you need to really extend the life of your roses, then you can put the roses in a fridge. We only recommend this for short-term storage because your average household refrigerator is not the same as a floral cooler. If you need to store them in a fridge for a short period of time, make sure you:
- Allow the roses to hydrate in water for at least 4 hours before putting them in the fridge
- Remove the cardboard wraps and make sure roses are still stored in water in the fridge
- Check the roses regularly to ensure the blooms are not too moist. If there is too much humidity and condensation collects on the petals, this can cause premature molding, even in the cold temperature
- Keep the roses away from fruit and vegetables. These can emit ethylene gas which speeds up the aging process.
- The fridge temperature should not be so cold (or have cold patches) that you freeze the flowers. That will end up killing the roses.
Follow maintenance care tips
You will still want to regularly re-cut the stems and change the water to ensure the roses continue to hydrate.
If you follow these steps, the cool temperature and low light should slow down the blooming process! Also, some rose varieties are slower to open than others, so shoot us a note you need help choosing the right one for your wedding or event!
I hope you find these tips helpful and if you have any questions, just drop us a line. We’re happy to help you pick the right rose or garden rose for your wedding or event! You can see our full rose collection and shop by color. And if you want more tips on how to care for cut roses, check out our complete rose care and handling guide.