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Care & Handling
Spray Roses


Baby Rio Spray Roses

Spray roses have all the beauty of a standard rose yet are much smaller, with multiple blooms per stem. This makes them one of the most popular and versatile cut flowers. Plus, a mix of flower opening stages on one stem adds to the visual interest of spray roses. As with all roses, it’s vital to properly care for and handle spray roses from shop arrival to customer delivery. Use these tips to optimize the health and longevity of your spray roses.

1. Receiving and Unpacking Spray Roses

Inspection: Upon the arrival of your spray roses, immediately check for anything that could affect their quality. Specific things to look for:

  • Examine the packaging for any signs of damage or improper handling.
  • Check for wilting or drooping. This can indicate either dehydration or poor handling during transportation.
  • Petals should be intact and free from bruises, blemishes, or tears. Discoloration or spots on petals may indicate botrytis.
  • Buds of spray roses should be firm and well-formed. Soft or shriveled buds may not open properly, affecting the overall quality and appearance of the blooms.
  • Look closely at the leaves and stems for any signs of yellowing, spots, or mildew. These can be indicators of disease or distress.
  • Carefully check for the presence of pests such as aphids, thrips, or spider mites. Pay special attention to the undersides of leaves and the areas where leaves join the stems.
  • Check for poor or abnormal opening, bent neck, petal wilting, shattering, or discoloration. These indicate damage from ethylene sensitivity. Ensure your grower treats the stems with an ethylene action inhibitor.
  • Excessive wilting symptoms may be due to inadequate temperature and humidity management. Shipping and storage temperatures should be 34-38° F with a relative humidity of 75-85%.

Hydration: Place spray roses in water as soon as possible to prevent wilting. Keep the flowers in a cool environment during the unpacking process to reduce the risk of heat stress.

  • If you receive dry-packed spray roses, leave the protective packaging on until they are hydrated. Condition the stem ends by cutting off approximately 1" and using an instant hydrating treatment.
  • Place spray roses in a clean, sanitized bucket that is not metal or galvanized. Ensure the bucket contains clean, high-quality water and a flower food-holding solution.
  • Store the spray roses in a cooler at 34-38° F for at least two hours, ensuring good airflow.
  • Avoid getting water on blooms as over-saturation can lead to botrytis.
  • Rotate spray roses in and out of the cooler on a first-in/first-out basis.
2. Preparing Spray Roses for Display or Sale

When placing spray roses in a container or vase for display or sale, do the following:

  • Trim the stems at a 45-degree angle to enhance the bloom’s ability to absorb water and prevent air locks in the stems.
  • Remove leaves that will be below the waterline to prevent the growth of bacteria, which can shorten the spray roses’ lifespan.
  • Ensure the container or vase is clean and filled with fresh water and a floral preservative to keep the roses hydrated and healthy.
  • Moderate, indirect light is preferable, as too much direct sunlight can dehydrate the flowers quickly.
  • You can remove the rose "guard petals" (outer petals that protect the rose) by gently tugging them off one by one. You can also keep the guard petals on the roses for a more natural look.
  • Choose stems with flowers opening at a minimum of opening stage 3, also known as the “American” cut stage. These will perform better during vase life.
3. Ongoing Care and Maintenance

As spray roses have a shorter shelf-life than standard roses, it’s vital to watch them carefully.

  • Regularly change the water in the containers and keep them filled to an appropriate level.
  • Be vigilant for signs of pests and diseases, such as discoloration or spots on the leaves and petals.
  • Regular pruning of wilted petals and leaves improves the roses' appearance and promotes healthy growth.
  • If florets start dropping prematurely, this can be a sign of ethylene sensitivity.
  • Other causes of poor vase life include product age (stored too long) or dry storage for long periods.
4. Packaging and Transportation

As spray roses have a shorter shelf-life than standard roses, it’s vital to watch them carefully.

  • Use materials that support the stems and prevent damage to the petals.
  • When transporting spray roses, keep them in a cool, humid environment to minimize stress and dehydration.
5. Customer Care Tips

Educating your customers on spray rose care is a part of providing excellent service.

  • Provide clear, straightforward care instructions with every purchase.
  • Include tips for troubleshooting common issues, such as what to do if the roses wilt prematurely.
  • Encourage customers to keep the roses in a cool location, change the water regularly, and use floral preservatives to extend their life.

Caring for spray roses will ensure they provide beauty to your customers for as long as possible. By following this guide, you can quickly assess the condition of your spray roses upon arrival, take immediate steps to address any issues, and maintain their quality and longevity.