How to Remove Guard Petals from Roses

Last updated: August 24th, 2022 Published on: August 21, 2019

When you receive roses in the post, you may also notice that they have outer petals which aren’t as colourful, small or slightly wilted – looking worse than the rest. This is perfectly normal, as these petals are called “guard petals” and are left on the bud on purpose to add protection as they travel.

When transporting flowers, it is a common practice to leave it to the recipient to remove these petals when they arrange the flowers at home. It’s also important to keep in mind that the condition of these guard petals is no reflection of the health or quality of the flowers!

If you’re wondering how to remove them properly, follow this step by step below to make your roses look even more beautiful.

Step 1

Check each rose one at a time to identify the guard petals. These are on the outer edge of the bud and should be easy to spot as they appear to be slightly dry, wilted, or with a slight discolouration. Bear in mind that a rose should only have between two to four guard petals, and if you peel too many petals away, the rose may not open properly and the petals might not look like they’re supposed to.

Step 2

Pull each petal one at a time, while holding the stem of the flower with your other hand. For that, you will need to place your index finger gently on the inside of the guarded petal and then firmly but quickly pull the petal away.

Step 3

Repeat the same technique for all of your roses until they look as required. Of course, we also recommend that you cut 2cm off the stem at an angle, and remove any leaves of the stem that are below the water.

Step 4

Once you’re done, you can place the guard leaves in the compost bin, use them as a table or floor decoration for a romantic night, or even recycle them in a crafty activity with your kids.

Step 5

Arrange the flowers in the vase of your choice by spacing them out evenly, and by colour. You can also mix and match them with some of your garden flowers to make more than one flower arrangement for the house ?

As basic as these instructions may sound, they are essential in order to prolong the life of any flower arrangement. To know all about our extra care tips and advice you can also read our blog how to make your flowers last longer?