Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Perking up roses (Please... don't ever do this, anywhere but at home, and only for yourself!)
This trick works really well, but it is a temporary fix to extend the life of drooping roses and is not a substitute for good quality fresh flowers. It is great to know this trick so that you can inspect the roses you want to buy, for the tell tale sign that they have already been “perked up” and might look fresh but would really not last well.
Tiny air bubbles travel up the flower stem causing the neck of the flower head to bend, droop or look wilted prematurely.
Remove the thorns and foliage that will fall below the conditioning waterline and give the stem a fresh cut, at a sharp angle, with a very sharp blade (some designers even suggest that you cut the stem under water to make sure you don't introduce even more bubbles). Leave some foliage on the stem to help with the absorption of the water. The foliage sucks the water up the stem.
Pour about 3.5 cm of boiling water in a heat proof container
Dip the rose stem into the boiling hot water. Protect the flowers from the steam with paper or cloth. Keep the stem in the water for anything from 30 seconds to 1 minute
You will see the bubbles leaving the stem
Remove the stem from the boiling water. Give the stem a fresh cut. It is easy to see where to cut. The stem treated with the boiling water will be discoloured. Cut well above this discolouration, at an angle, with a sharp blade, preferably under water.
If this heat treated stem is not cut away it will discolour even more, making it easy to see
Pour some flower food (according to the package specifications) into fresh room temperature water.
Place the stem into the water. Set aside to re-hydrate. This will take about 1 to 1:30 hours. Do not submerge roses in water nor mist them, this only causes Botrytis ( breeding of fungus) and will not extend the life of the flowers
The stems will be firm and perked up and you would be able to enjoy your roses for a little while longer
Design Note: When buying roses always lift the bunch out of the water and inspect the stems. If the tips of the stems are discoloured know that it has already been treated to perk up and it will not last well.