Monday, October 5, 2015
Caring for your flowers
You've just received your lovely bouquet or arrangement in floral foam. They will have come with a sachet of flower food and a card with suggestions for care.
If you have received an arrangement in a container it will contain floral foam. This amazing product can hold a lot of water but it will evaporate quickly so you will need to top it up daily. Florists should leave a little gap at the back where you can slowly pour in the water. If there isn't a gap, then place the arrangement on the sink and top up.
If you have received a bouquet it will be wrapped in pretty paper or some other decorative wrapping. It is your choice whether you remove the paper as usually this is part of the presentation and you may decide that it is so pretty you will leave it on. With other wrapping such as dried lotus leaves, this is part of the design and should be retained. Bouquets should always be delivered in a water bubble or some other method of keeping the stems hydrated. Remove the wrapping from the stems and if they have been delivered out of water you will need to cut approximately 2cm from the bottom of the stem on an angle. A sharp Swiss Army type knife is the best way to cut stems but if you don't have one, use clean, sharp seceteurs. Scissors will damage the water uptaking vessels in the flower stem, which shortens the life of the flowers.
Fill a clean vase with water and dissolve the flower food sachet in it.
Ensure that there is no foliage on the stems where they will be underwater. The florist should have done this already but if you've picked up your bunch from somewhere else, it's important that you do this as leaves under water will create flower killing bacteria. You may need to recut the stems to suit your vase but this must be on an angle so that the point is resting on the base of the vase so it can drink and the maximum amount of vessels are exposed.
It is imperative that the water be changed at least every 2 days. If you wouldn't drink the water then the flowers shouldn't either. Gerbera stems will rot if you overfill the vase and some flowers are very thirsty. (Lilies)
Position your flowers away from sunlight, draughts, (air conditioning), direct heat generating appliances (microwave, TV, toaster) and not in excessively heated rooms.
Some flowers will last longer than others and it's important to remove spent flowers as they create ethylene gas which shortens the life of the other flowers. It's also important that flowers are not placed near fruit as this also generates ethylene gas.