Flower Arranging with Fresh Flowers "Select and prolong freshness"
Floral Design 101
Whether you purchase cut flowers, grow your own or gather them from a field,
select blooms that are full of life. You can tell just by looking at them if
they are going to stand tall and strut their stuff, or droop and drop their
petals by the time you put them in a vase.
Purchase (or cut) firm, plump flowers.
They should be free of disease and insects.
Look for unbroken, clean stems.
Healthy leaves indicate a healthy plant.
Select buds showing color.
Flowers are composed of 90% water. Water keeps the flowers firm, fresh and
alive. Water dissolves and transports nutrients throughout the plant.
Facilitating the maximum flow of water and nutrients is the secret to longer
Flowers require a healthy environment to live long and prosper.
They need to be in clean containers; free from bacteria that clogs the stems
and prevents circulation of water and nutrients. Vases and storage
containers need to be scrubbed and rinsed with a mild solution of Clorox
before or after each use. Flowers also require clean air. An arrangement
placed by an open window where traffic is heavy, or in a room where people
are smoking will not last as long as one placed in a well-ventilated
environment. Just as pollutants inhibit the health and life of birds, fish
and animals, they diminish the beauty and life of cut flowers.
Cut flowers and arrangements respond to the temperature of the water.
Warm water encourages buds and closed flowers to open, and cool temperatures
slow down development, adding longevity to the arrangement. Excessive hot or
cold water causes plant damage. Flowers droop and wilt when placed in hot
water and die quickly in very cold water.
Cut flowers require the proper kind and correct amount of nourishment.
Floral preservatives are special mixtures of chemicals that have been
developed and perfected to prolong the life of flowers. They contain a sugar
base to keep the flower’s energy level high, ingredients to inhibit the
growth of bacteria and chemicals that lower the pH factor thereby enhancing
water uptake. There are many brands of preservatives available in both
liquid and powder form. They can be purchased at florist shops, craft stores
and at many markets. Follow the instructions carefully. Do not use a
little more or a little less. Some flowers are
naturally short-lived (3-4 days), while others can last two weeks or more.
Using flower preservatives is a life-prolonging tool for the serious flower
- Always cut your flower stems under running
water. It will preserve them longer and give them a longer vase life.
- You should not remove the
leaves on mums when arranging them. The leaves keep the flower fresher longer.
Full strength lemon juice misted on
gardenias will prevent them from browning.
arranging gardenias and
stephenotis, always wet your hands first, the oil from your hands
will turn the flowers brown.
- When using tulips in
a bridal bouquet: let the tulips sit in a vase until the flower has
opened to the look you want. You can now dip the head of the tulip in egg white and this will prevent
the flower from opening any further.
- Be careful
when adding daffodils with other flowers in the same vase. The fresh
cut daffodils can cause the other flowers to wilt earlier.