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Home » The Secret to Longer-lasting Roses Is Not to Hide Your Love in the Dark

The Secret to Longer-lasting Roses Is Not to Hide Your Love in the Dark

Brighter light and a bit of sugar could be the formula for keeping your roses fresh for longer, as per new scientific findings.

Buying cut roses may be a gesture but, if the petals drop soon after getting them home, it might not be the gesture you want. From the Korean Society for Floricultural Science comes research by Ha and colleagues on how to make your cut roses last longer. Make them sweeter and put them in the spotlight.

One significant issue with cut roses is their relatively short vase life of around 7-10 days. The longevity of these flowers is greatly influenced by environmental conditions both pre and post-harvest. You can’t do much about pre-harvest conditions, but what can you do when you get the flowers home? Ha and colleagues examined the effect of light intensity, to see how different light intensities impact the post-harvest performance of cut rose flowers.

Through their research, the team found that light intensity at 50 μmol m-2 s-1 (around 2200 lux, equivalent to a bright window) significantly increased the photosynthesis capacity of cut roses, in turn delaying petal senescence, or ageing, and extending the flowers’ vase life. In simpler terms, this means that when exposed to higher light intensity, roses photosynthesise more effectively, allowing them to stay fresh longer.

The application of external sucrose was another key finding. The researchers discovered that sucrose application improves the longevity of cut flowers by enhancing the water balance and sustaining the turgor pressure in the petals, crucial factors for prolonging their lifespan.

The researchers also proposed that the method known as OJIP transient, which measures changes in chlorophyll fluorescence, can be used as an effective tool to evaluate and predict photosynthesis rates in cut flowers. Photosynthesis rates and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters were found to correlate with the vase life of cut roses, reinforcing this method’s potential usefulness.

With a little extra light and a sprinkle of sugar, your roses may bloom brighter and last longer, making life a bit more beautiful.

Ha, S.T.T., Department of Horticulture and Breeding, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Korea, Ham, J.Y., Choi, B. and In, B.-C. (2023) “Use of chlorophyll fluorescence to estimate photosynthesis and its relationship to vase life of cut roses,” Flower Research Journal, 31(1), pp. 10–22. Available at:

Dale Maylea

Dale Maylea was a system for adding value to press releases. Then he was a manual algorithm for blogging any papers that Alun Salt thinks are interesting. Now he's an AI-assisted pen name. The idea being telling people about an interesting paper NOW beats telling people about an interesting paper at some time in the future, when there's time to sit down and take things slowly. We use the pen name to keep track of what is being written and how. You can read more about our relationship with AI.


  • Using a human-sounding name as the author is extremely deceptive. Why not just use “AI” or “AI assisted” as the author? I’m so disappointed in – not for using AI, but for its disrespect for the reader.

    • Hi Ginny, thanks for your comment. I use different author accounts because there are different processes in producing the blog posts. In the case of the Dale Maylea process, the initial writing is done in a very mechanical style based roughly on the inverted pyramid. Some people have mistakenly thought posts written this way were computer generated. The Dale Maylea byline was specifically created to give some transparency into this process.

      Now there can be some AI assistance in writing, but even in this case, the AI is not meaningfully the author, because the human in charge and controlling the writing. For this reason, crediting it to an AI author would be misleading. At the same time, because there are cognitive shortcuts used, I don’t want to mislead people into thinking this post is the result of many hours of purely human contemplation.

      Additionally, I wrote a statement on AI use because, at the time that I wrote it, the popular AI-identifiers were incorrectly identifying all sentences in a post as human-written and I knew I had used some directly from the draft I got from GPT. For example, this post reads as entirely human according to GPT Zero. It may well be that I’ve typed over all the sentences from the initial draft, re-ordered all the paragraphs and eliminated every single character that the AI gave me. It would still be deceitful for me to tell you that the text is ‘AI-free’ when it was used in the initial draft.
      Should we label posts where the writing where a human rigidly follows a generic journalistic trope? I think the reader deserves the information. In this case, I’ve given the process a consistent label, and added a note in the biography box saying that it’s AI assisted, and who the human author is, in an attempt to be clear about how I work. I think I could certainly be more opaque by giving the account a more convincing human name and avoiding any mention of AI at all. Or I could pretend I have a magic ‘write the article with AI’ button and credit it all to ‘AI author’.

      I think respect for the reader is important. That’s why the labelling is messy, because the writing process is messy and not always easily categorised.

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