|Flower Care Tips and Handling
How to Lengthen the Life of Your Arrangement
Two of the top questions Americans ask when purchasing flowers are "How do I take care of them?" and "How long will they last?" Whether it's a single bud, a small bunch or an abundant arrangement, a little extra care can make a big difference.
Most floral arrangements last between 4-7 days, depending on the types of flowers used and the type of care they receive. The Society of American Florists suggests these tips for longer-lasting, more vibrant flowers:
For floral arrangements
Keep the vase filled or floral foam soaked with water containing a flower food provided by your florist.
If the flower food solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely. If possible, recut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife.
Keep flowers in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit), away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give off heat, causing flowers to dehydrate.)
For loose bunches or boxed flowers
If you can't get your flowers in a flower food solution right away, keep them in a cool place.
Fill a clean, deep vase with water and add the flower food obtained from your florist. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.
Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water will promote bacterial growth.
Recut stems with a sharp knife. Do this underwater -- this allows the stems to draw in water instead of air -- and place the flowers in the vase solution you've prepared.
If you purchase loose flowers for your own arrangements you should also consider these tips:
- When selecting flowers, look for flowers with upright, firm petals and buds beginning to open. Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are signs of age.
- When using woody stems and branches (such as quince, forsythia or lilac), cut the stem with sharp pruning shears. Place in warm water containing fresh flower food to promote flower opening.
||Plant Care Tips and Handling
Green Thumb Not Required
Not only are green and flowering plants a great enhancement to any home or office decor, they are also beneficial to your health. The results of a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) show that common houseplants are powerful, natural air cleaners -- all the more reason why you want to keep your plants healthy with the proper care.
While they usually come with care instructions specified for the type of plant, the Society of American Florists offers these general guidelines to keep most green houseplants thriving:
Keep plants in medium-light locations
Natural light is best, however, some plants also can thrive in office fluorescent light. Most flowering potted plants should be placed in areas with the most light in order to maintain good flower color and promote the maximum number of flowers to open. Foliage plants will do well under lower light levels and can be placed in areas providing reduced light.
Plant soil should be kept moist at all times
Plants should not be allowed to dry out or wilt. However, avoid overwatering; do not allow plants to stand in water. Avoid wetting leaves.
Avoid excessive heat or cold
Plants should be maintained between 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit for best performance.