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Taking Care of your Flowers
By Michael Day

The most often asked question of a florist seems to be, "How do we take care of our flowers after we get them?" This article will provide proper care & handling of fresh flowers in three general categories.

  1. The care of fresh flowers arranged in floral foam.
  2. The care of fresh cut flowers arranged in a vase of water.
  3. The care of fresh cut flowers received loose in a box or cello wrap.

#1. Floral foam revolutionized the floral industry by providing a secure foundation in which to arrange fresh flowers. Floral foam acts like a sponge,absorbs water and provided the fresh cut blooms with necessary moisture & water. Not all blossoms last as well in foam, compared to fresh water, but in general, with proper care, your arrangement in foam will last quite well.

When you receive a basket or container arrangement that uses floral foam, check the water level in the container. (If a basket or porous container is used, it may be decorative & not water tight, so check to see if another "inner" container or liner is used) It is the water in the container that is necessary for longevity of the blooms in the arrangement so please add water every day to extend the life of your arrangement.

I suggest you take your arrangement to the sink and carefully pull back any greenery & blossoms around the base of the arrangement and fill the container with warm water.

Using floral preservative in the water you add to the arrangement helps but is not always necessary, for the foam & water has already been conditioned at the shop, prior to delivery.

#2. Flowers arranged in fresh water is the best option to the consumer to provide maximum longevity. Vase arrangements have become popular again since natural and casual garden styles are the choice of many consumers.

When you receive a vase arrangement, check the level of the water in the vase immediately and fill to near the top of the vessel so all stems and foliage are submerged. Check this level each day and add water with fresh flower preservative as needed. Remove any flowers as they fade and if time allows, remove all flowers after a few days & completely change the water & recut the stems and replace in vase with fresh warm water.

#3. When you receive a bouquet of fresh cut flowers, not arranged in any container it is ESSENTIAL that proper handling is followed.

If blooms arrive in small tubes of water, remove the tubes!!! Select the vase in which you will arrange the flowers. Fill the vessel with WARM water. Stir in fresh cut flower food and recut each stem with a knife or sharp scissors and arrange in the vase.

Continue to add water each day as needed & after 3-4 days, remove blooms from vase, clean vase with soap & water, rinse well & and rearrange as before with fresh water and a fresh cut to each stem!

Ask Our Expert a Question by e-mail at florist@ClevelandSeniors.Com

Michael Day

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