Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Top Tips - The Care of Flowers

Good morning to all.  It's been a really busy few days with wedding consultations, a Prom Fair, a training course, networking events and lastly, but by no means least, Valentine's Day. (Thought I'd mention it just in case it escaped your notice!)

This got me thinking, about the care of flowers.  Florists on the whole, are very good at getting your beautiful bouquet or arrangement to you without any problems, but many of them forget to give you care instructions.  This is a shame, because looking after your flowers will have a huge impact on how long they last.  If you follow the guide below, you can seriously extend the life of your flowers.

So here are a few of my top tips:-

*  If you receive flowers in an aqua pack, don't leave them in the bubble of water for any longer than a day or so as this is just meant to keep your flowers fresh for travelling, and isn't a ready made vase! There's only a limited amount of water in an aqua pack and it degrades very quickly which can half the life of your flowers.

*  Make sure the vase you put your flowers into is clean.  Flowers are like people - they object to drinking from dirty glass!

*  Always re-cut  a couple of centimetres off the bottom of the stems, at an angle, before putting them into water.  The stems of cut flowers seal up naturally, particularly if they are out of water, and they can't drink effectively until you re-cut them.  This is the single most common cause of why a bouquet of flowers doesn't last.

*  Use lukewarm water - flowers prefer it.

*  Use the flower food - it works! Although don't use it for bulbs - particularly tulips (it makes them bolt).

*  Every variety of flower has a different life-expectancy, so if you receive a bouquet of mixed flowers, make sure you remove blooms which have faded or are dying, to give the others a chance of a longer life span.  Flowers produce an unseen gas called Ethylene which speeds up the breaking down process of your other flowers.  It's used artificially in the food industry to ripen tomatoes - which is why it's also not a good idea to leave your vase or jug of flowers next to a fruit bowl! 

*  Change the water in your vase every couple of days to keep it fresh.

*  Don't put your flowers on top of the telly, by a radiator or on a hot window sill - they much prefer a cool place.

This might seem like a lot, but if you think about it, once pollinated, flowers naturally concentrate on dying in order to produce seed, whereas we try and make cut flowers last as long as possible.  If you follow these simple steps, though, it will really help extend the life of your flowers which makes you, the person who sent them and (take it from me) the florist very happy!

Finally, as we've just had Valentine's Day, a special mention for roses.  Roses are very thirsty creatures and like very deep water, so try and put them in a tall vase. Keep an eye on the water level - I've had them drink a vase full on a warm Summer's Day!  Make sure you re-cut them every time they go into water as rose stems are notorious for sealing up and causing an air lock, which stops water getting to the bloom. You can tell if  roses have an air-lock as the head droops and the top of the stem is soft and bendy. 
To cure this, re-cut the stems and put them into a plastic container of about 4-5 cm of boiling water and leave them for approximately 30 mins. You should see bubbles coming out of the bottom rose stems.  Once the water is cool, re-cut them again to remove the discoloured stems and you should have lovely pert roses once again! 

I hope this has been helpful, let me know if you have any problems with your flowers and I will try and help with advice on how best to look after them, or I'd love to hear stories of bouquets you've received and what made them special.  Until next time.  Enjoy!


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