PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR FLORAL DESIGN
Keeping Christmas Greens Fresh:
1. SOAK: Submerge in a tub of clean water for a minimum of 24hrs.
2. DRAIN AND TREAT: Thoroughly front and back with an antitranspirant spray. Try Wilt-Pruf or Crowning Glory.
3. MIST: Every other day.
4. KEEP COOL: Turn down the heat and use LED lights.
Conditioning Flowers for Home Flower Arranging:
WHY: To make the flowers last longer
WHAT: Clean containers; clean water; clean stems; sharp, clean clippers
1. HAND TIED BOUQUET (PASTELS) FROM THE GARDEN: It is best to cut from your garden morning and evening.
Bring a bucket of clean warm water with you and submerge the stems at least 6”. Flowers absorb water through
the full length of their stems.
2. THE FIRST STEP: When you bring flowers inside from the flower shop or garden you should prepare them to be conditioned. Unwrap them, remove most or all of the leaves (these die before the flowers and can put bacteria in the water), make a fresh cut on each stem and place in a clean bucket of clean warm, water for a couple of hours or overnight. Store the bucket in a cool dark place like the cellar or garage.
3. FLOWER FOOD: At this time it is appropriate to add flower food but it is wise to follow the directions on the packet. Too much food can be toxic and too little won’t help much. Flower food contains a biocide to kill germs, sugar for nutrition, and an acidifier which helps water to travel up the stem.
4. THE BUCKET: Most serious arrangers soak the bucket the day before in water and clorox. Or they use a clorox pad to wipe out the bucket. Starting with a dirty bucket means starting with bacteria!
5. ARRANGING: When you get ready to put the flowers in a vase, cut the stems again. If you are using floral foam, you can predrill a hole in the foam to hold the flowers. This will help to avoid clogging the stems so they can’t draw water. It is especially important on fleshy or delicate stems. A chopstick is a good tool for this.
6. BOUQUETS: If you have a bouquet in a vase, change the water every couple of days and recut the stems. A DROP of clorox will keep the water from getting cloudy. You’ll get a few more days out of your investment!
7. SPECIAL CASES: Woody stemmed branches like hydrangea should be cut at 45º and cut several times vertically to provide maximum surface to absorb water. Avoid mixing narcissus with other flowers during conditioning. Tulips droop and grow in the vase. They say a little bleach in the water with tulips will keep them straight. Some flowers like poppies, dahlia, baptista, hollyhock and others like to have their stems seared in a candle flame and then placed in water.
For specific flowers conditioning needs: http://www.floraldesigninstitute.com