When you select your roses for Valentine's Day, look at the shape of the flower buds: they are not all alike.

Most roses open by unraveling one petal at a time in a spiral fashion. Hint: gently squeeze the flower bud. It should feel firm, not soft. Soft rose buds have been kept under refrigeration for too long. If it feels hard and looks like a Hershey Kiss, it is called a "bullet," and was picked too early by the grower (not the florist) and it will not open. Look for firm roses that are unraveling on the tip of the rosebud.
Roses keep best in a cool place, so keep them away from heat sources and out of the sun. Every morning, add a bit of ice to the vase to cool the plant down and extend the flowering time. Never allow the leaves on the rose to be under water; remove them from the stem, since they will rot in water and this will shorten the flowering time. If you're transporting flowers home from the florist, be sure to keep them warm, as freezing temperatures will damage the flower buds--have them wrapped properly!

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  • Rhonda G
    on Apr 1, 2012

    Believe it or not, most cut roses are imported from Central and South America and shipped to the states. Tulips and other bulb plants are harvested and shipped from the Netherlands mostly. I can't remember the figures of the amount of roses shipped but it's in the 10's if not the 100's of thousands, especially around the holidays.

  • Donna J
    on Jan 17, 2015

    Thanks @Walter Reeves for this timely advice. I enjoy having a vase of roses on my table ever so often. During the winter months when I have to purchase them I will be using your quick test.

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