Leaves on cut stems of commercially grown Rosa hybrida cv. Kardinal placed in preservative solutions containing sucrose developed necrotic dry patches that began interveinally and progressed toward the major veins until the entire leaf was dehydrated. Ultrastructural observations of initial damage showed disorganized protoplasm and plasmolyzed cells. Leaves on cut stems pretreated with abscisic acid for 24 hours and transferred to preservative solution containing sucrose remained healthy. We propose that sucrose accumulates in the mesophyll cell wall, thus decreasing apoplastic osmotic potential, leading to cell collapse and tissue death.