Take a look around a room full of people. What do you see? Even if it is a ballroom teaming with family members, although they may share some similar traits for example similar height, hair color, or eye color, each person in the room is one of a kind. Roses aren’t so different than people in this respect. There are many varieties of roses, and no two, even within the same variety, are ever the same. Every stem is distinctive and beautiful in its own way and each and every rose variety performs differently. Becoming familiar with how specific rose varieties bloom will help you select which roses you should purchase based on their traits and how they will serve your specific design needs.

There are a few general guidelines to get familiar with when it comes to roses and how they bloom:

1. Opening (aperture) speed:

This is probably the most important trait to understand well. Just because a rose is open doesn’t mean it’s bad or old. On the contrary, depending on the variety and cut stage it is harvested at, a variety might open slowly, steadily, or very quickly but hold at that open stage for the duration of its vase life. Some varieties might actually not open at all or little but last a long time. As long as you don’t see the normal signs of expiration such as petals falling, bent neck, or dried foliage, that rose is a keeper! An open rose in its full glory makes a statement like no other. Knowing whether it’s their time to go or if they’re good to hold can mean a huge cost savings as well.

2. Petal Count:

Petal count vary greatly between varieties. Higher petal counts tend to be slower opening roses whereas lesser petal counts reach their full open bloom stage a little faster but can hold at that stage for the expected vase life. Ask your supplier if you’re unsure of a rose variety’s traits what to expect so you can plan on purchasing your roses with the right timeline for your event.

3. Cut Stage:

Each variety is carefully tested by breeders and growers alike to find the optimum cut stage per variety. The perfect cut stage is decided based on packing and vase life test performance results. Some varieties perform better overall when harvested with a slightly more open cut, especially garden rose varieties. However, be conscious of purchasing roses with too tight of a cut point, “bullets” as they are commonly referred to may never open which could be a huge disappointment to the recipient.

Keeping these points in mind as you cull your inventory will help you best utilize your on-hand inventory for the day’s design business and streamline your inventory control.

Discarding roses prematurely because they are “too open” or “blown” is a common misconception among customers and floral industry veterans alike. Getting familiar with varieties, how they bloom, and what to expect will not only help you to educate your customers but also help them have the best possible experience with your roses.

To learn more about best practices from the experts in flower care, visit www.floralife.com


FloraLife, a division of Smithers-Oasis, is a worldwide leader in postharvest flower care and handling. FloraLife has been for 82 years and counting, the flower care experts. Inventors of the first flower food in 1938, since then we’ve continued to partner with our clients to address specific quality concerns and create a line of floral care products suitable to feed, hydrate, nourish and protect at every level in the distribution chain. As a globally positioned company, we are proud to offer our expertise, consultation and education to anyone in the floral industry seeking knowledge and the tools necessary to provide only the freshest, long-lasting flowers to their customers.