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Posts Tagged ‘Fresh Flowers’

Making Fresh Flowers Last Longer

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Picking Your Own Flowers – If you are picking your own flowers it is best to do this in the morning or the late evening. Sugar reserves in the stems are at their highest in the mornings or evenings. Ideally the best time is early morning when flower stems are filled with water after the cool night air. You should never pick flowers in the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s hottest.

When to Pick Flowers – Most flowers should be picked when they are in bud or half open. You will then have the pleasure of seeing them slowly open up. The colour of the petals should be starting to show. If picked too tightly in bud, they may never open. This is especially true of tulips and roses. The green pointed sepals around the base of the rose should be starting to turn downwards.

Fill a plastic bucket a third to half way with warm water. Warm water should be used as flowers take up warm water more readily than cold. Its preferable to add preservative to the water.

Flowers only drink through the ends of the stems and not through the sides of the stems, and for this reason buckets should not be filled right up to the top with water, as foliage left on stems below the water line will rot and pollute the water. This will cause bacteria and the flowers will die more quickly. The foliage of marigolds, chrysanthemums, stock and daisies send off a particularly strong odour when left standing under water over a period of time.

Take the bucket of water into the garden with you. Use a sharp pair of secateurs and cut the flower stems on an angle – a slanted cut allows a better intake of water. Remove all foliage from the lower portion of the stems which would stand under the water line. Place the flowers immediately in the water.

Never overcrowd flowers. Allow enough air to circulate between each flower. Too many flowers crowded together in a bucket may cause the petals to become squashed and bruised.

Conditioning Flowers and Foliage – Allow flowers to have a good drink for four to five hours, preferably overnight before arranging. This step is called conditioning. It allows the stems to fill up with water and the flowers will become crisp.

Fresh Flowers Buying Tips

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Different people buy flowers for different reasons. Some buy them as gifts, others for house or office decorations while others buy them for special occasions. Irrespective of the reason, it is important to get quality fresh flowers. There are many types being sold in supermarkets and florist shops. Some are a bit pricey than others. Some people squander their money when they buy some. Buying it is often a simple and adventurous process and the following tips can be of assistance:

Avoid buying outside flowers
One of the major attributes associated with local florist shops is that they always display it outside the shop. While this form of advertisement attracts many people, do not buy the outside flowers. This is because most of these flowers lose their freshness when exposed to potentially harmful ultra violet rays and toxic car fumes especially the ethylene gas which acts as a catalyst in wilting of flowers. Instead, always buy flowers which are inside the shop. They are usually taken care of the environment is very cool making them long lasting and fresh.

Examine the stem ends
The stem ends speaks a lot when it comes to determining its freshness. Fresh flowers tend to have white or green freshly cut stem ends. These stem ends are examined by turning the bunch of flowers upside down. If the stem ends are dark in color, split and/or curling, then this bunch of flowers are old and one should avoid buying them.

Examine the water
All natural flowers that are being sold are usually contained in water. Flowers stored in dirty water do not get the proper minerals and salts which boosts their longevity and freshness. Similarly, preserving them in dirty containers reduces their lives. Always check the water for cleanliness and clarity. If both the water and containers are not clean, then do not buy the bunch of flowers. There are cases where some flowers need to be preserved in “dirty” and muddy water. A good example of these flowers is the tulips.

Critically examine the leaves and flowers
This is one of the most important things to consider before buying flowers. Cut flowers often exhibit leaf death symptoms before the actual flower wilts. Before buying the flowers, check its leaves for leaf death signs and symptoms like yellowing and blotching. If these signs are present then do not buy them. This tip comes in handy when buying water lilies. Check for dried leaves when you are buying roses.