Monday, February 9, 2009

Taking Care of Cut Flowers to Promote Longevity

Cut flowers can brighten up any room and add life and color to your
house. Follow our tips here and you should enjoy your flowers for as
long as possible
When you receive the flowers from your loved one specialy in valentines day
gently lay the bouquet on the side and
cut approximately 3cm off the bottom of the stems at a 45� angle using
a sharp knife. Making a slanted cut provides stems with a bigger
surface area for taking up more water, and also stops them from
resting flat on the bottom of the vase, limiting their water intake.
If you can cut
the stems while holding them submerged them will absorb even more water
Place your floral arrangement in a vase large enough to allow the stems to reach at
least half-way down. Then fill it three quarters full with lukewarm
water, adding the flower food supplied in accordance with the
instructions on the sachet. It is better to put flowers in warm water,
as lukewarm water contains less oxygen than cold water, and reduces
the amount of air bubbles likely to form in the stem's network of tiny
conductive vessels, blocking or limited water uptake. It is vital to
ensure that your vase is completely clean, as residue from previous
displays can harbor bacteria which will block the tiny tubules that
carry water up the stems, causing your flowers to wilt. For the same
reason, you should also remove any fronds and leaves which lie below
the water level

Flowers thrive in light, cool positions (18 - 22�C, or 65 - 72�F),
away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, radiators and
other appliances that give off heat. Warm temperatures encourage
flowers to respire at a higher rate and fade more quickly - so the
cooler the room or location they're in, the longer they will last.
However, draughty spots - such as in a hallway or near open doors -
will not do your flowers any good either because they make petals dry
out faster. Avoid placing bouquets or arrangements near ripening fruit,
or leaving dying blooms in the display as these both release tiny
amounts of ethylene gas which makes flowers age faster. Do not use
metal containers as they neutralize the effects of flower food. Some
cut flowers, such as tulips, continue to grow and will grow towards the light

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