Take time to smell the roses. Especially when that time span could be as long as three years.
Yes, three full years.
It seems incredible, doesn’t it? Yet these long-lasting flowers, also called preserved roses, are very real.
Typically, store-bought plants last a week, but these marathon blossoms last years and years. Ecuadorian blooms are generally used because they’re one of the hardiest and longest-lasting rose plants. They’re cut at their peak blooming phase and dehydrated.
Next, they’re injected with a non-toxic, wax-based, hypoallergenic formula that replaces the plant’s sap and water. It impedes their growth but retains their velvety shape, scent, and texture. These flowers can last a year to three years. If you place them in an enclosure, such as a sealed display case, they can live an astounding 10 years. This far outstrips store-bought flowers, whose endurance is typically only one week
Another preservation technique involves soaking the blossoms in glycerin and warm water. Glycerin reduces dryness while protecting and moisturizing a rose. The glycerin preserves the flower by replacing its fluids. Next, the rose soaks for two to three weeks. Some florists also soak them in oils.
These flowering plants require almost no upkeep. Simply protect them from humidity, heat and direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for your arrangement is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Occasionally, give them a light dusting to ensure the longest lifespan, or spray them with canned air.
The blossoms can also be dusted by blowing on them with a hairdryer set on the lowest temperature. Avoid touching them, since the oil on your hands can damage them. The flowers’ scent is also preserved for about two to three weeks. If watering plants isn’t your strong suit, no watering is required. Ever.
These long-lasting flowers can be dyed any Pantone color, with a substance similar to food coloring.
Long-lasting rose blossoms come in a kaleidoscopic array of colors, from traditional shades such as red, lavender and yellow to adventurous green, hot pink and black. There are even rainbow blossoms that flamboyantly flaunt multiple colors, also called tie-dye. Florists dye a rose several ways:
• Dyeing Spray
Florists use special airbrushes and sweep the colors across the blossom.
• Absorption Dyes
Florists place stems into colored water in order to dye the rose. The florist can customize the flower’s color by tweaking the amount of time that it’s submerged. For instance, a baby blue flower can be transformed into cobalt the longer it’s soaked.
A tie-dyed rose has dazzling “wow appeal.” In order to get this effect, the florist divides the blossom into three sections. Next, he places each section into a different colored dye bath. After several hours, the flower will look right at home at any Woodstock reunion.
Opulent gold, silver, and platinum glazed blossoms called dipped or plated, are also available. Different companies have different, and often well-guarded, patented secrets for this process. It is a meticulous undertaking, sometimes involving more than 50 steps spread over several weeks.
Smaller companies often cut and dip the flower in lacquer or wax and then dip it in gold or other precious metal. Quality flowers are dipped in 24K gold.
At larger companies, flowers are coated with a base of copper electroplating, followed by nickel electroplating. After this process, they are overlaid with precious metal. Veins and imperfections that make each flower unique are still visible.
Non-precious metal flowers can be sprayed with a special liquid that gives them their rich gold, silver or copper hues. Don’t be alarmed if this coating cracks or chips. The flowers underneath won’t be harmed and will still have an extremely long lifespan.
The process of creating a preserved rose shouldn’t be confused with the process of drying one. Dried flowers are hung upside down for several days or weeks to dehydrate them. They’re fragile and may last three months but only if someone or something hasn’t jostled them and caused them to crumble.
These long-lasting beauties are also adored by celebrities. The Kardashians display them in almost every room, and they’re also popular with Danielle Brooks, DJ Kahled and several NFL and NBA players.
Cut roses are beautiful, but that beauty is often disappointingly short-lived. The preserved plant, though, offers timeless good looks that can easily last years and years. It’s the perfect answer to a very thorny problem.