I got a few roses from my friends and I keep them in my office. I've changed their fresh water for three days but they won't stop fading. What can I do to extend their flowering? Some people tell me to put a little salt in the water, would this work?

  • Am I understanding correctly: Are these cut flowers in a vase?
    – michelle
    Mar 11, 2014 at 12:53
  • 2
    Assuming you do mean cut roses, they're notoriously shortlived in vases of water. Flower food might keep them going for 5 days, or some sugar or an aspirin, but by 7 days, they're goners.
    – Bamboo
    Mar 12, 2014 at 18:21

3 Answers 3


Soft water:

I don't know if "soft water" is the correct translation. I mean non calcareous water.

A good cut:

You have to avoid crushing the xylem. Use precision scissors or an scalpel (cutter). If your really want a long lasting rose, make a new cut every day (or at least three days) to make sure the xylem remain open.

A good cut

Removes what is not necessary:

Remove all decorative objects (paper, plastics, etc.) and leaves which are below the water level.


The best option is to buy some ready to use preservatives. But this is not a must. I will list some products that will help.

  • Sugar: it contains a lot of glucose (involved in cellular respiration) [1% per volume of water].
  • Aspirin: it works because it contains acids that help in water circulation on cuts [3 quarters per liter of water].
  • Bleach: to prevent water putrefaction [1 milliliter per liter of water].

You can read the full article (Spanish - English) on our web.


Another thing that I've been told is that you should cut their stems every couple of days. They should be cut on an angle, and under running water to avoid oxygen getting into the stem. This helps to extend their life, but one other option is to dry the flowers to keep for your enjoyment later.

  • I do this. It seems to help. That last layer of cells at the cut face is damaged, so it makes sense to freshen the surface now and then. Jan 29, 2018 at 13:25

A few drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar every other day with fresh water does the trick for all my cut flowers... Vodka to stop bacterial growth, and sugar to nourish the flowers. I originally come from a former USSR country, and this trick is very popular there. Once I got 16 days out of cut roses which has been an unbroken record in my house!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.