Friday, July 15, 2011

FAQ'S About Making Fresh Flowers Last Longer


By Sophia Rodriguez

Should I place my fresh cut flowers in the sunshine to help open them up?

No! Since temperature is the #1 factor in keeping flowers fresher longer, placing them in the sunshine will overheat them and promote early death. Set containers in a cool, dark area overnight before starting to work with them. The darkness helps to eliminate transpiration or water loss to keep the blooms at their freshest.

Where should I put my flowers while they are waiting to be arranged in bouquets?

The area used to recondition your flowers should have lots of air circulation but no drafts, heaters or fans. Ideally, this would be a fl oral cooler with a 38-50 degrees Fahrenheit (3-10 degrees Celsius) temperature and with a very high (80%) of humidity. Of course, in a home setting, this is rarely possible. Therefore, just do your best at finding the coolest area in the house (must be at least 3 degrees) to store your flowers. A cold cellar or basement would be great.

To increase humidity, just before leaving them for the night, use a mist sprayer to spray a fine mist of water into the air above and around the blooms. A simple procedure like putting the bloom in a cool spot overnight helps them recuperate from the journey and last longer. Even placing finished bouquets on the floor where it is naturally cooler can help with the freshness.

What about foliage, how do I keep it fresh until I am ready to use it in my bouquets and corsages?

The best way to preserve foliage until you are ready to use it is to first re-cut the stem underwater about 1" (2.5cm), then spray them with a fine mist of water. Place them in a plastic bag in the fridge or in a cool location. This helps preserve maximum moisture into the leaves.

I heard that I should never put flowers with fruit. Is this true?

Yes. Ripening fruit causes the most amount of ethylene in a home setting and can greatly damage fresh blooms and foliage. Ethylene is a hormone that is like an odorless and invisible gas that speeds up floral maturation and death. Ethylene is produced by two main sources. The first is outside factors such as the burning of fuels, by bacteria forming and by the ripening of fruits.

The second source of ethylene in a home setting is from the flower itself. Even when you cut stems, small amounts of ethylene escape. This is not a huge concern as long as you store your blooms in a fresh and cool atmosphere. Make sure not to bunch them all in one vase: spread them out and let your floral beauties breathe. Also, make sure to keep all your tools, buckets and water solutions clean. Finally, remember to always store your flowers away from any fruit.

Do you want to learn a lot more about handling and preparing fresh flowers? If so, my book may be perfect for you. It is called: Unleash Your Inner Florist: How to Make Wedding And Special Event Flowers. Click here to get more information about how to make pretty bouquets, corsages, centerpieces and lots more: Unleash Your Inner Florist

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