Yes, it’s true! Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a way to increase the life of a rose after it’s been cut. They do this by inserting a gene from hardy, ordinary celery – so far they have manged to make a cut rose last for 19 days!
Their ultimate goal is to have a cut rose live for at least a month, this will require genomics as they need to figure out exactly which genes are turned on and off as the rose bud opens into a perfectly formed flower.
There are some pathogens in plants that produce a substance called mannitols, this is the culprit which causes diseases like petal blight, have limpy cut flowers? Mannitols is most likely the cause. The celery gene helps to destroy mannitols thus giving the cut flower a longer vase life.
In the meantime, to achieve a longer cut flower life make sure your florist gives you a couple of packets flower food with the flowers. When you get home cut about 1/2 an inch off the stems and add one packet of food to the water. Do this every 4 or 5 days and your flowers will last much longer!