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Cut Flower
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garden rose

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Rosa spp.

Garden rose, Modern shrub rose

Garden rose blossoms open into large peonylike flowers with high petal counts. Many varieties exhibit strong fragrances, with rich musky, sweet, spicy or citrusy scents. Today, these beauties are available as individual blooms (one flower per stem, left) or in spray form (several small flowers on branched stems, below).

The most commercially available colors are pink, red, burgundy, white, cream, orange, peach and yellow. Both solid and multicolored varieties are common.

The vase life of these luxurious blooms varies from variety to variety, but if properly cared for from farm to floral department, they should last from three to seven days at the consumer level.

Garden roses are available year-round, depending on variety. Over the last 15 years, hybridizers (including David Austin Roses in England, Rosen Tantau in Germany and Meilland International in France) have increased their development of varieties to meet the demand of the cut flower industry and consumers.

PROCESSING Research indicates that as much as 30 percent of a rose’s vase life is lost in the shipping process, so hydrate the flowers immediately upon receipt. First, remove all leaves and thorns that will fall beneath the water line with a rose stripper or soft cloth. Cut at least 1 inch from each stem, on an angle, with a clean, sharp blade, then dip or place the stems into a hydration solution according to product directions.
REFRIGERATION After processing, place garden roses into a floral cooler at 32 F to 34 F with relative humidity at 85 percent to 90 percent for at least two hours before designing with or selling them. Depending on variety, these flowers can begin opening soon after being placed into flower-food solution, but immediate refrigeration will slow that process.
WATER Garden roses are heavy drinkers, so check the nutrient solution level in their containers every day.
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY The effects of ethylene gas on garden roses (premature petal drop or malformed flowers) varies by cultivar, but most varieties are at least moderately sensitive; therefore, make sure your flowers are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower level or during transportation.
CARE EXTRA If garden roses become water stressed (premature wilting, bent neck, etc.), submerge the entire stems, up to the blooms, into room-temperature water for 20 minutes. Recut the stems under water, removing at least 1 inch of stem.
CONSUMER ACTION Give consumers packets of fresh flower food, and encourage them to change the nutrient solution and recut stems every other day.


fun facts


ROSY REVERENCE The rose is known as the “Queen of flowers” and, in 1986, was designated the official flower and floral emblem of the United States. It is the symbol of grace and beauty, the emblem of kings and paradise, an ingredient of magic and medicine (vitamin C), an architectural embellishment and a decoration on currency around the world. It is the inspiration of poetic verse and endless declarations of love.

"SCENT"SIBLE FLOWERS Because of their fragrance, roses are widely cultivated for use in the production of perfume as well as for flavoring in food products such as jellies, honeys, syrups, vinegars and even sorbets.




purchasing checklist

Purchase garden roses that have tight, firm blooms; however, avoid overly tight buds because they may never open. Also look for turgid stems and healthy, green foliage. Avoid bunches with fully opened or soft blooms, limp stems, and damaged or Botrytis-infected foliage and petals. Botrytis, a result of too-moist conditions and/or moisture on petals, leaves or stems, appears as brown blotches on petals or fuzzy gray patches on leaves or stems. Order garden roses well in advance of need if specific varieties or colors are required.


Photos courtesy of Transflora and Florists' Review

Some information provided by:
Chain of Life Network®,
Florists’ Review,
Transflora; Miami, Fla.

Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2009
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.