Caring For Your Flowers
Flowers, like humans, respond best to a little tender loving care. No, you don't have to hug them, but a few basic guidelines will ensure your flowers maintain their perkiness for longer.
A good florist will always include some written care details and a sachet of flower food, but there are other things you need to know to get the best out of your flowers.
|One of the most spectacular flowers around and available in a choice of shapes. Asiatics are the most common, while Orientals have a stylish angular look. Longiflorum are extremely elegant and Calla are one of the most hi-style on the market. Orientals and Asiatics will last the longest. A top grade multi-headed Casablanca can last up to three weeks with buds opening on a regular basis. Expensive but worth it.||The first hint of spring. A vase of these will add instant light to any room. However they ooze a latex slime, so you shouldn't mix them with other flowers unless you've got one of the special flower foods (or stand them in water for 12 hours or so and don't cut them again.)|
General flower care tips
Upon receipt of your fresh flower delivery , whether it's a presentation bouquet or a hand tied, you really should re-cut the stems before you put them in the vase to make sure their vascular cells are wide open to take up water.
But never ever bash stems - this is a real old wives tale - and is actually the kiss of death to most flowers. All bashing achieves is the mangling of the aforesaid vascular cells into such a state they haven't a hope in heck's chance of taking up water. Always cut the stems at a sharp angle using a knife if possible, or very sharp scissors.
Place the flowers immediately in clean water, mixed with the provided flower food, or they'll dry out and you've defeated the object of cutting. Make sure there are no leaves sitting below the water line, as not only will they rot and release harmful bacteria, which kills flowers, but they'll also consume vast amounts of the nutrients in the flower food which need to get up the stem to the flower head.
To maintain the look of your flowers, repeat the process three or four days later, removing any wilting or dead flower heads so that the water supply is sent to the flowers still blooming or, in the case of multi-headed varieties, still to open.
Depending on the type of design you receive you should follow a few specific guidelines:
1. Presentation bouquets
Made with a collection of loose flowers, this will give you the chance to arrange the flowers in two or three vases depending on the size of the bouquet. Cut and condition the flowers as above and make sure you use clean vases; residue from previous bouquets will cause infection and reduce the life of your new flowers.
2. Hand tied bouquets
As these are already arranged for you and tied together, the first rule is not to cut the binding string. It doesn't harm the flowers and it means the bouquet will stay looking gorgeous. If it's been delivered aquapacked i.e. there's a bubble of water around the stems hold the bouquet over a sink and cut the bottom off the film. This way the water will pour down the sink not over you.
If you receive an arrangement, it will have been made in a water retaining foam. This will need topping up every couple of days. Simply dribble water into the centre of the design or at the back where a good florist will have made a small nick into the foam.
4. Indoor gardens
To care for indoor gardens you need to check what sort of plants have been used. In most cases a good florist will have mixed and matched so that a simple top-up every three/four days is sufficient. However if there are cyclamen or succulents in the design make sure you water below the crown (the leaves), as otherwise the plant will rot. Plants need a regular spray as well. They absorb moisture through their leaves so lightly mist once a week, especially if you have a centrally heated home.