Flower Tips from DotFlowers
Grooming Isn't Just For Show . . .
- Preparing to put your flowers in water is one of the most vital steps in ensuring their longevity. Of course, you can simply plunk them into a vase and hope for the best, but in three days or less you'll probably have a very sad looking arrangement. The first step in grooming your flowers is to remove any leaves that will fall below the waterline. Submerged vegetation will promote bacterial growth, and frankly it looks shoddy.
- After you have removed any excess leaves, place your flower stems in warm water and trim the stems with a diagonal cut at least an inch from the end. Cutting diagonally keeps the stems from sitting flat on the bottom of the vase, which can block their access to water. Since flowers use a system of one-way 'veins' to soak up the necessary water, air can become trapped at the base of the stem. An inch is about all it should take to eliminate air blockages. Be sure to use a very sharp knife to avoid crushing the delicate water channels of the stems. Carefully transfer your flowers into their vase without shaking the water off the cut ends. Repeat this process every time you change the vase water, or if your floral foam dries out.
- Certain stems require special handling. Some semi-woody stems, like poppies and hydrangea, produce a sticky sap when cut that will harm other flowers. If semi-woody stemmed flowers are to be included in arrangement, simply cauterize the ends by placing in boiling water for fifteen seconds, or by passing the ends over a lighter flame until they are sealed. Woody stems without sap generally can be cut with sharp garden shears, although some florists recommend smashing the ends to maximize water uptake. Some bulb flowers, like daffodils, can also release harmful sap but have stems that are too fragile to cauterize. If you are going to include these flowers in an arrangement, let them sit for at least six hours in a separate container before allowing them to share water with other blooms.
Last but not least, finding a suitable location for your flower arrangement is the final step in giving your blooms a long and happy life . . .