The Definitive Guide on How to Keep Flowers Fresh

The Definitive Guide on How to Keep Flowers Fresh

Ordering and sending flowers online might be a simple and convenient thing to do, especially with the development of the online medium in today’s world. With just a few clicks, you have the power to send your loved one’s flowers that will surely reach their doorstep, irrespective of where they live as well as the time that you need them delivered at. However, what happens next? What if your friend or relative decides to send you flowers on the occasion of your promotion and after the initial excitement dies, you are confronted with the chore of keeping them fresh on a daily basis. How will you go about this intricate task?

Being an online flower shop, we do not want you to think that our duties and responsibilities end with the user experience that an individual has on our website. We would like to extend our help to you even in the offline realm so that the efficiency and convenience do not merely end with the delivery of the flower at your doorstep. The real challenge begins once you receive the flowers and the keys to ensuring the longevity of their vitality and their fragrance are nowhere to be found. Let us guide you through this delicate process by giving you the keys right at your fingertips, just like our online flower delivery services. Here are the Flower care tips to keep your flowers fresh, healthy and full of vigor:

Type of Flower

The care of flowers is heavily dependent upon the characteristics of the plant that they are from. Each and every plant has its own traits and specific needs, the knowledge of which is crucial for understanding how to grow and maintain them perfectly. Here are some of the most common flowers and the methods that are required for taking good care of them:

Carnations: The freshness of flowers like carnations is impacted to a large extent by the presence of ethylene. This gas is responsible for the natural ripening as well as the senescence (death) of flowers in a plant. Hence, make sure that the sources of ethylene, such as ripe fruits and vegetables are not kept anywhere near flowers like Carnations, or else they will start showing signs of irregular opening, leaf yellowing, and premature death.

Daisy: Flowers like Daisies are considerably thirsty and need much more water as compared to other plants. If you have Daisies and Peruvian Lilies, they will require water changes more often and will demand more pertinent care owing to the fact they will drain water from their containers more rapidly than other plants. Hence, before you order flowers online for yourself or your loved ones, make sure that you have enough information about how to maintain them as a lack of awareness is ultimately the biggest destroyer of flora. So use these flower care tips and get a fresh, blooming, beautiful garden to enjoy.

5 ancient uses of flowers that you would want to know

Adornments

Flowers made precious pieces of adornments – be it the crown, neckpiece, bracelet or anklet, flowers occupied a supreme position in women’s dressing room during ancient times. Victorians, armed with floral dictionaries, often exchanged ‘talking bouquets’, which were worn as fashion accessory.

Adorning one’s head with leaves and flowers has a rich history dating back to the ancient world. In Rome, the laurel wreath was considered to be the symbol of victory and honor. While in ancient Greece, wreaths were awarded to the athletes of the ancient Olympics and other victors. Made by interlocking the leaves and petals of aromatic flowers like violets, roses, parsley and myrtle, these wreaths form a circular or horse-shoe shape to adorn the head perfectly. Besides being the symbol of victory, flower crowns were also used extensively during festivities, celebrations and weddings. If you see the paintings or pictures from the Greek civilization, Greek men can be seen wearing wreaths. It is because they believed that tying a fillet tight around their head could ease their drunkenness. Bizarre!

Talking about Indian history or mythology, queens, apsaras and deities such as Shakuntala, Menaka and Sita have been pictured adorning floral accessories in their hair, neck, wrists, waist and ankles. Adorning floral accessories made from fresh flowers like Rose, Jasmine or Marigold highlighted the beauty, grace and royalty of women in olden times.

Cure and Heal

Shrubs, leaves and barks have medicinal properties, and it’s known to us. But did you know that flowers too, have potential properties to cure and heal? People in ancient China – followers of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism extensively used flowers as medicines. In ancient Egypt over 800 flowers and plants are listed as medicines, which helped in healing and curing.

When it comes to ancient use of flowers as medicines, how can we ignore India, the country with a rich history of Ayurveda, an alternative medicine, which started during the Vedic period and now has spread its wings to other parts of the world? Talking about the medicinal properties of the flowers, Calendula is the first that comes to one’s mind – the bright, yellow petals of the flowers are mixed with other substances to make an effective ointment for skin treatment; or take Rose Periwinkle for that matter. Did you ever think that cancer can have a remedy? Yes, Rose Periwinkle, which is being used as tea for treating hypertension and diabetes, have recently been declared to have beneficial properties towards leukemia, other types of cancers and Hodgkin’s diseases.

Alchemy

We must have come across many scenes in mythological stories or films from the depths of history wherein the hosts create a shower and carpet of flower petals to welcome the guests or paintings of the females of a royal family bathing in a bath tub with floating flower petals. The idea is basically based on the practice of flower alchemy that was popular during the ancient times. In simple terms, flower alchemy is the art and the practice of receiving and embodying the nourishing properties of plants. Besides inhaling the fragrance of these flowers that freshens up your mind and uplifts your mood, flower alchemy is about taking pure flower essences suspended in water to rejuvenate and revitalize your body. In fact, the therapy since olden times has been considered to be a great stress-buster and body pain reliever.

The definitive guide on How to keep flowers fresh

Flower Care 101 – The Definitive Guide on How to Keep Flowers Fresh

Chrysanthemum: Some flowers are more prone to drooping and spoiling of foliage as compared to others, Chrysanthemum being a good example of the same. Usually, in the case of chrysanthemums, the foliage of the flower deteriorates at a much faster rate as compared to the flower itself. Hence, make sure you save the flower periodically through procedures such as re-cutting and placing them in a different vase so that their health and the longevity of their freshness remain untouched. In most cases, a fresh batch of Chrysanthemums will maintain their freshness for a matter of 7 to 10 days.

Daffodils: If proper care of these flowers is not taken, especially during the process of transplantation or shifting from one vase to another. This is because the plant releases a certain type of sap, when their stems are cut during the process of transplanting, which has the potential to reduce the growth of other flowers. To prevent the leaking of this particular sap and save the lives of the other flowers, make sure that you take certain precautions when shifting the flowers from one vase to another, or to another pot or garden depending upon the environment in which you have planted them. For instance, you can use options such as placing a piece of cotton at the end of the cut stem or placing the cut stems in a bucket for a few hours before replanting them, in order to ensure that all excess sap is drained out. You can also try moving the stems along with the roots as well as the bulbs intact, which allows for a much safer process.

Rose:  There are numerous problems that roses can suffer from, including black spots on the foliage and peripheral leaves, stunting of the leaves as well as flowers, leaf damage from diseases such as rust, and aphids. Sometimes, the rose blooms might not open completely or normally, due to a lack of proper environmental conditions or due to some form of infestation. One of the most important aspects to consider while on the road to understanding how to take care of roses in a vase involves finding new ways of ensuring their longevity and freshness. This can be done through the regular practice of stem cutting and pruning. Periodic pruning of the foliage leaves of the rose is another significantly potent technique that can allow for the continued health of the plant as well as the flowers. Some of the best practices that one should undertake while pruning a rose bush is to ensure that damaged wood, dead wood, suckers and dead wood are removed as meticulously as possible.

Flower Care 101 – The Definitive Guide on How to Keep Flowers Fresh

Type of Environment

Vase: Flowers need to be nurtured and cared for in a similar way that an infant out of the womb needs to be taken care of so that its development happens in the best way possible. The process of maintaining flowers in vases is an intricate procedure which needs a lot of delicate attention, ingenuity and diligence when performing.

Another crucial aspect in this case involves understanding how to keep cut flowers fresh in a vase. The first step in the procedure involves the cutting of the stems so as to ensure that they are easily placed within the vase. This is an important aspect owing to the fact that the manner in which you cut the stems ultimately dictates the amount of time during which the flowers will remain fresh. The cut has to be made at a sharp angle using instruments such as a sharp knife or pruning scissors, in order to avoid mishaps such as crushing the veins through which the flower takes up water. Moreover, by cutting the stems of flowers such as roses inside a lukewarm water bath, you can avoid the issue of having air bubbles caught up in the veins of the flower, while also ensuring that the blooms do not lose their turgidity and freshness.

Another process that can help in maintaining the freshness as well as the vigor of your flowers in a vase is the process of searing the stems. This involves placing the stem ends of the flowers in boiling hot water for a short duration. This process, known as searing, helps in stopping the leakage of sap from the cut stems. It can also allow flowers to absorb water and nutrients in a much more efficient way, thereby keeping them fresh and turgid for a longer time.

Pot: The first step for maintaining your flowers in pots involves selecting the right pot or container as per your needs and requirements. This involves recognizing the container that will best suit the plant that you are planning to pot, which essentially involves understanding how the plant grows and develops. One of the worst mistakes that you can commit while choosing a pot or container for your flower is to choose a container which is too small for the plant.

Another important aspect of choosing the right container or pot involves making sure that it has a series of drainage holes, which allow extra water to seep out, thereby ensuring that the pot is not flooded every time the plant is watered. However, the most crucial part of the potting process involves preparing the pots for the plants, which includes selecting the right potting mixture and checking the moisture content of the soil before adding it into the pot.

Once the plant has been potted, you need to ensure that the distance between the stem of the potted flower and the circumference of the pot is maintained at approximately 1 inch. During the process of transplanting a flowering plant from one pot to another, one crucial aspect to ensure is that the plant is not pulled directly from the pot. A large deal of scrutiny has to be ensured during this process, by making sure that the root ball of the plant is intact even after it has been pulled out of the pot. You can do this by placing a finger on either side of the stem near the soil surface and tipping the pot to one side, after which you can let the plant fall gently into your hands along with the intact root ball.

Other crucial aspects to consider when maintaining a flower along with its foliage in a pot is to ensure that practices such as watering are aligned with the seasonal needs of the plant in concern. Moreover, making use of some form of fertilizer mix and renewing it periodically can also help maintain the overall health of the plant, especially owing to the fact that watering can almost always take away the nutrients present in the container. Similar to maintaining flowers in vases, it is crucial to regularly practice pruning and deadheading of faded blooms and buds to encourage the plant to produce more flowers.

Garden:   Caring for flowers in a garden is much more difficult as compared to caring for them in a pot or a vase, especially owing to the vast difference in terms of the environment that the plants are exposed to in all three cases. The most important aspect of consideration as far as maintaining a garden is the condition of the soil. The first step towards preparing the perfect garden soil for your flowers is to till it to the point where it is fluffy.

The second step in maintaining the overall health of your soil is to ensure that the organic matter in it is renewed each year, especially owing to the fact that organisms such as earthworms, microbes and the flowers themselves feed on it. You can renew the organic matter in your soil by adding manure, leaf mold, compost, mulch and other nutritious mixtures in order to ensure that there is a visible improvement in soil tilth from time to time.

Watering your garden is another step that needs to be done practiced with extreme diligence, owing to the fact that too much water can bring on rot, while too little can cause mass wilting and withering. Opting for a few manual sessions of watering each month instead of using a mechanized watering system can provide much better results, owing to the decreased incidence of disease and rot that is imminent through the same.   

The next most important aspect of maintaining fresh flowers in a garden is to be aware about the fertilizers that you use. A good amount of understanding of plant appetite can help you in choosing the right fertilizer for your garden. For instance, flowers like roses have a large appetite and hence, warrant the periodic renewal of fertilizers in the soil. On the other hand, bog flowers and succulent moss roses have a smaller appetite and can be grown even on the nutrients that are found in the soil.

Ensuring enough space between the flowers planted in your garden, and exercising a control over diseases and pests using biological and sustainable methods can help solve most of the problems that maintaining a garden can bring up. Make sure that you periodically remove weeds from your garden and also use insecticides or biological controls such as nematodes and predatory insects to reduce the incidence of unwanted pests in your garden.

Flower Care 101 – The Definitive Guide on How to Keep Flowers Fresh

Type of Replenishment

Nutrition: Flower food and other nutritional additives can go a long way as far as maintaining fresh flowers is concerned. However, instead of spending on synthetic additives that do more harm than good, or resorting to remedies from old wives’ tales, you can make your own flower food. The basic constituents of flower food are nutrients, an acidifier which helps maintain the pH of the water in the vase, and an anti-bacterial agent.

If you are planning to make flower food at home, you can use ingredients such as sugar for the nutritive value, a vitamin C tablet or vinegar to lower the pH of the water to an optimum level, and bleach or lemon juice as an antibacterial agent. The sugar helps provide the flowers with all the glucose they need for nutritive purposes, while the lemon juice or vitamin C tablets help in lowering the pH of the water, thereby ensuring that the ends of the stems do not seal up. The biocide or the antibacterial agent helps in killing off any microbes or harmful bacteria which might cause the stems of the flowers to rot.

Fertilizer: If you are maintaining a garden or a pot, you can choose to create your own fertilizer by exercising a bit of DIY magic. The use of homemade fertilizers can help in eliminating the negative impacts that synthetic fertilizers can have on your garden. Moreover, natural fertilizers are a much more affordable and safer option as compared to synthetic fertilizers.

One such homemade fertilizer is compost tea, which is made by boiling compost in water. In this process, one has to maintain the ratio of 5:1, where 5 parts of water is mixed with 1 part of compost and left to brew in a large container for a matter of 10 days. This compost tea can then be used as a fertilizer spray after it is completely brewed.

Another option that you can use as a homemade fertilizer is the fish emulsion, which is made from waste parts of fishes, including fish guts and bones. Similar to the process of brewing compost tea, one part of fish waste is mixed with 2 parts of water, after which the mixture is left to brew for a couple of weeks.

If you do not have the patience to resort to time consuming methods of making homemade fertilizers, you can opt for options such as seaweed, which are naturally available and ready to use. However, before using fresh seaweed as fertilizer, make sure you wash it thoroughly before use. The best way to do this is to soak the seaweed in a bucket full of water for about three weeks, after which you can strain the mixture and use the mixture as a fertilizer spray.

Flower Care 101 – The Definitive Guide on How to Keep Flowers Fresh

Temperature: Different temperatures can help in different steps or situations as far as taking care of flowers is concerned. Most varieties of flowers need the cold in order to rejuvenate their freshness and turgidity, especially after numerous hours of being exposed to the hot and dry air. By keeping your flowers in a cool environment once in a while, like the refrigerator, you can ensure that they do not wilt due to increased exposure to hot and dry atmosphere. However, make sure that you do not keep all flowers in the cold, and especially not for long durations. This is because many flowers detest the cold and hence, it is advisable that you keep them in the refrigerator only after the temperature has been turned down to an optimum level rather than a very low degree.

On the other hand, flowers can also benefit from exposure to hot or lukewarm temperatures. Instead of using water that is either cold or at room temperature, you can warm the water to a few degrees higher than room temperature before pouring it into the vase. This procedure allows for the flowers to bloom earlier than usual. At the same time, when considering the water temperature in a vase, you need to understand the growth behavior of the flower in order to know what conditions are sure to suit them the best. For instance, if you are planning to keep flowers like daffodils, tulips and anemones as your centerpieces, make sure that you use water that is lower than room temperature. This is because these plants are used to developing and blooming during the cooler months of the year.

Warm water can also be used for the purpose of reviving or resuscitating wilted flowers owing to the fact that flowers can absorb warm water quicker than cold water. Hot water, which was previously referred to during the process of searing, can help in resuscitation of wilted stems. The time and the temperature needed for the resuscitation of different types of stems differs from flower to flower. For instance, woody stems need much more time in hot or boiling water as compared to more subtle stems, which can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. However, make sure that you do not leave the stems in the boiling hot water for a long duration, as this can result in them disintegrating completely due to the cooking of the organic tissues.

Our guide has been specifically created to help you understand how to keep flowers fresh, by making the most of both natural conditions as well as by creating your own solutions. However, fresh flowers are not the only thing you need to keep in mind when maintaining your own garden, flower pots or flower vases. Make sure you check out our guide on Flower care

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