Mix the contents of a flower preservative packet with tap water or distilled water according to the directions on the packet. Do not use water from a home or commercial water softener. Use this solution to fill your vase or to water your arrangement.
Roses in a Vase or Other Container
Check the vase or container daily to see that it is full of water. Add your preservative solution whenever the water level has gone down. Place your arrangement in a cool location, keeping it out of direct sunlight and drafts and away from heat sources.
Roses out of Water (in a box or wrapped in cellophane)
Have your vase or container ready and filled with your preservative solution. If you are using floral foam, saturate it in the solution before placing it in the container. Give the rose stems a fresh diagonal cut and remove all leaves that will be beneath the water level. To cut the stem, hold it under water in a sink or under running water (to prevent premature wilting) and cut about an inch off the end with a sharp knife or shears. Place the stem immediately into your vase or container. Place your arrangement in a cool location, keeping it out of direct sunlight and drafts and away from heat sources. Check the vase or container daily to see that it is full of water. Add your preservative solution whenever the water level has gone down.
Premature wilting of the rose flower (within a day or two of receiving or arranging the roses) may indicate air trapped in the stem, preventing the preservative solution from moving up the flower. It is also caused by a cut or scrape on the stem above the water level. To revive the rose, re-cut the stem an inch or so from the bottom or above any damaged area of the stem, then submerge the entire rose in a basin or shallow pan of warm water. Be sure the stem is straight and that its end stays submerged. The rose will usually revive within an hour, and it can be put back in the arrangement.