To achieve a long vase life, removing the thorns is not recommended. Every wound on the stem leads to deterioration of the stem bark and the loss of cell moisture, resulting in major container/vase contamination. This results in wilted leaves, very little or no flower development and turbid, smelly containers and vases. With Rosa it can even lead to the manifestation of bent-neck.


Roses with thorns last longer in the vase than roses without thorns. When flower food is added to the vase water, the differences disappear. However, the vase water of roses without thorns does remain turbid.


 The only excuse for removing thorns is to make arranging easier and protect the hands if no gloves are used. If you have to,  remove the thorns with as little damage to the tissue as possible. The consumer can best remove them by breaking them off by hand, pushing them aside. All other methods of using knives and thorn removers are harmful to the flower.

If stems have been out of water for any amount of time, it is always a good idea that they be cut. Three benefits to cutting stems are the removal of micro-orgasnisms, contamination and air bubbles from the stem.
          • After the grower has cut the flower off its mother plant, the stem immediately begins to heal itself, much like a wound on our skin. The scab on human skin protects against infections from outside sources and stops the bleeding. The stem protects itself in a similar way against infections and drying out through the cutting wound by sealing it. This means that when cut flowers are put into a container or vase solution, the water absorption is greatly decreased or even completely stopped, resulting in limp, weak flowers and ultimately the wilting and premature demise of the entire flower.
          • Micro-organisms can be found everywhere, on flower stems and leaves, the cut surface, containers, vases tools and work tables. Wounds on the stem bark are an excellent food source for micro-organisms. They only grow if they have something to feed on in the container or vase. Large amounts can cause loss of quality in some cut flowers, because they can partially plug the bottom of the stem. This is one of the main reasons to cut off a piece of the stem after a ‘dry’ period and it also prevents contamination of the container or vase.
          • Contaminated and organic materials plug up the cut surface, just like air-bubbles in a dried out stem-end. This also causes the premature wilting of the cut flowers. By cutting the bottom of the stem (by at least 2-5 cm) these blockages are removed. No flower food will remove this kind of infection from the stems.


If cut flowers have been dry for more than 30 minutes, cut off a part of the stem before placing them in a container or vase. This applies to all phases of the flower’s life.

Working in a clean environment, removing contamination and avoiding stem damage all help to prevent waste, save money and ensure normal flower development as well as a satisfied customer.

Removing all contamination and blockages often requires cutting 5-10 cm off the stem. Remember that no flower food can remove infections in the stem.

Cutting at an angle of about 45 degrees creates the cleanest cut surface and least stem damage.