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Care for Valentine's flowers

Return to Flower articlesPink tulips

  • Provide lots of fresh water
  • Keep 'em cool
  • Tricks for reviving wilted flowers
  • Care of potted flowers

The most popular day to give flowers is fast approaching with the arrival of Valentine’s Day on February 14. Many people will be sending that special someone a bouquet of fresh flowers — with roses being the most popular of all the flowers. Proper care is important for extending the life of fresh flower arrangements. Following are a few guidelines which will make this symbol of love last longer.

Water is vital
Keep the vase or floral foam soaked with water at all times. Add fresh water daily and use warm water, as this will aid in uptake. If the water turns cloudy, replace it immediately with fresh water. If possible, re-cut the stems every day by removing 1 to 2 inches. Use a sharp knife. Cut the stems underwater, as this allows them to draw in water instead of air.  
    
Keep the flowers cool
Warm temperatures shorten the life of the blooms. Avoid direct sunlight and heat vents. Warm air from ceiling fans will cause the flowers to fade. Appliances like televisions and computers give off heat causing the flowers to dry out.

Wilting flowers
Try this trick if the flowers start to wilt; remove the stem from the arrangement and re-cut the stem. Next, submerge the entire flower in warm water. Leave it in the water for one to two hours. This treatment should perk the flowers up, extending them for a couple days. This trick works well for cut roses.

Care for a flower bouquet
If you give or receive loose stems of flowers, keep them cool as long as possible before delivering to your sweetheart. Fill a clean vase with water and add flower food from the florist. Follow the packet instructions for mixing.
    
Before placing the stems in the vase, remove all foliage that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water promote bacterial growth, which decreases life. Cut the flower stems under water with a sharp knife before placing them in the vase.  

Potted gifts
Potted plants are also a popular gift. Like arrangements, keep them in a cool location and avoid heat drafts or dry air for longer lasting color. Most plants will require even moisture, so check the soil daily and, if dry to the touch, water. Do not let the plants stand in water as this will harm the root system.

Potted flowering plants will last anywhere from a few days, in the case of forced bulbs, to several weeks. For example, under good conditions expect azaleas, exacum cyclamen and kalanchoes to last up to four weeks.

Flowers are one of the best signs of showing you care. Whether you send or receive flowers, no matter the day, it means so much.


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