Roses are mainly harvest at 3 different “cutting Stages” Which cater to different markets.
“Mass Market” or what is almost exclusively sold in supermarkets and or large retail chains are roses that are traditionally tighter heads. The roses are harvested once the diameter of the bloom, not including the guard petal, has reached between 2.5-3.0 centimeters. This is also known as the aperture.
“Florist Grade” or what is the majority of the roses sold through the wholesale to florist chain, are allowed to grow a little more. They are harvested between 3.0-3.5 centimeters. This technique produces stronger stems, longer roses, longer vase life, and consequently larger headed roses.
“Premium or Russian Grade” or what is almost exclusively sold to Russia, are roses that are harvested between 3.5-4.0 centimeters and even sometimes more. This process guarantees the absolute best roses grown in the world.